As the city-wide mandatory mask rules come into effect, Victoria Police have indicated that they will be lenient with those not wearing masks for the time being.

However, major shopping centres like Chadstone and Northland will ask customers without masks in their centres to leave unless they have a valid excuse.

The operators of Chadstone, Northland, Emporium, The Glen and Melbourne’s DFOs will enforce a “no mask, no shop” policy across its centres.

Those caught in the centre without masks will be asked to either buy one to wear or leave, while those avoiding face coverings due to a medical condition will need a doctor’s certificate.

Under the new rules, which rolled out at midnight last night, Melburnians can be fined $200 if they are caught without a mask in public.

However, police say that an educational approach will be taken at first when people are found outside without a face covering.

“We understand that the vast majority of Victorians are trying to do the right thing and our exercise of discretion will reflect that,” Victoria Police spokesperson Beck Angel told the Herald Sun.

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