Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton admits mandatory masks and Melbourne’s nightly curfew could remain in place even when rules are rolled back.

Mr Sutton has flagged masks could remain mandatory in Melbourne and regional Victoria beyond the scheduled end of lockdown on September 13.

“I think we’ll see masks for the next month in one form or another,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“It may not be all settings at all times.”

Melbourne’s 8pm to 5am curfew could also remain in place under the easing of restrictions.

“Everything’s on the table,” Professor Sutton said.

“It’ll be a consideration to continue (curfew).”


The public is still none the wiser on when coronavirus lockdown rules will end ahead of Premier Daniel Andrews unveiling separate roadmaps for Melbourne and regional Victoria on Sunday.

The state government extended its state of disaster on Wednesday, bringing it into line with the state of emergency.

Mr Andrews warned people not to read too much into the extension.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that either the state of emergency or the state of disaster will automatically come off on the 13th,” he said.

The disaster declaration allows the government to enforce the nightly curfew and a ban on residents travelling more than five kilometres from their homes.

Authorities remain concerned about stubborn daily case numbers, with Mr Sutton worried only about half of people with virus symptoms are getting tested.


Victoria recorded six more deaths and 90 coronavirus cases on Wednesday – a slight spike on Tuesday’s 70.

The premier maintains numbers remain too high despite Victoria’s seven-day new case average falling below 100 for the first time since early July.

The latest deaths took the state toll to 576 and the national figure to 663.

It comes as a new Australian National University poll showed attention to physical distancing rules is down across Australia, including in Victoria.

Victoria’s lower house will rubber-stamp a six-month extension to state of emergency powers on Thursday after the bill narrowly passed through the upper house in a marathon sitting.


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