It’s a case of ‘no masks ; no buy’! Major retailers in Australia will be strictly enforcing the new mask wearing regulations that have come into effect in Victoria’s COVID lockdown areas.
Masks are now mandatory for anyone leaving their home, who live in Metro Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire in Victoria and those who don’t have a facial covering could cop a $200 penalty.
No Entry Without Masks
Coles made a public announcement on their website today, stating that all shoppers and staff in the affected areas within Victoria would need to wear masks.
“To ensure we are following government guidelines, we expect all customers to be wearing a face covering in our stores, unless a lawful exception applies to you. Masks have also become compulsory for our team members, unless they too have an exception.”
There Are Exceptions
The mask-wearing exceptions include babies and children under the age of 12 years and people who are affected by a relevant medical condition – including problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
It is not clear, however, how a person can prove that they have an underlying medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. We reckon that there will be a lot of people claiming they have asthma or some other conditions, if they forgot their mask at home or don’t want to wear one.
Bunnings have also responded to the new laws by announcing that it is mandatory for all staff and shoppers in the lockdown areas to wear masks.
“From Thursday we will require that customers and suppliers wear a face mask or covering as a condition of entry to a Bunnings store or trade centre in metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire,” Bunnings general operations manager Ryan Baker told news.com.au.
Kmart Hops On Board
Kmart has followed similar actions, saying that customers will not be permitted to enter their stores if they are not wearing a face mask.
Kmart is following suit with the company confirming customers will be refused entry if they do not comply by wearing a face mask, except for those shoppers who qualify for an exemption.
Woolworths has followed suit saying that all shoppers, except those exempt, will need to be wearing a mask in order to enter their stores.
Electronics and furniture chain Harvey Norman has said that they will enforce mask wearing throughout their Victorian stores – even those outside the lockdown areas.
No Trolls Please!
With all these new restrictions in place, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has called for caution if people see others in public not wearing face masks.
“A number … are legitimately not able to wear masks so please don’t vilify individuals or don’t make the assumption they are simply stubborn,” Prof Sutton said.
“There will be people with medical, behavioural, psychological reasons … certainly don’t make an assumption that they should be the subject of your ire.”
Do you think supermarkets should ban shoppers who are not wearing masks? Tell us in the comments below.