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 Too

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.

bunnings - facemask
Image via 9News


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.

And Woolies

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.

  • The world has certainly changed


  • This is all changing!


  • We need to look after all Australians so those that can should wear masks to help our most vulnerable.


  • Great. Hope everyone complies to have a chance of reducing the spread.


  • Yes. We all need to support each other and stand with each other to stamp out this virus. No-one is more important than another in this.


  • Yes of course they should ban shoppers. As far as proving you have an exemption, surely, if you’re an asthmatic, you’ll carry a puffer with you, if you have some other type of medical exemption, you’ll have some type of proof? or can at least offer up the name of your treating doctor if you’re stopped by police for not wearing a mask. If I lived in Victoria and was eligible for an exemption and needed to go to a supermarket or Bunnings, I’d be contacting my GP for a letter to carry with me. It isn’t rocket science to cover yourself.


  • Stay at home, wash your hands, wear a mask, practise social distancing. Let’s beat this.


  • I am more than happy for shops to restrict customers to those wearing masks, the more we can do to help the spread of the virus the better!


  • I think it’s a great idea. I also think it wouldn’t have been necessary if certain individuals had been doing the right thing in the first place. If you don’t need to be out then stay home. The sooner everyone does the right thing the sooner things may start returning to some sort of normality.


  • Yes they should !


  • I think it only makes sense to help stop the spread of the virus. During lockdown except if you need to leave for essential services, you just stay home. When you do go out, a mask helps protect everyone!


  • I am happy that the stores are doing this – however many pensioners are unable to afford the masks at the prices now being asked and not all of us are smart enough to be able to make our own fancy masks. Some help should also be offered.


  • This is fair enough- Victoria really needs to get it together.


  • I think this is a great idea! You don’t like it shop online!


  • this doesnt apply to me as i am in nsw but if they ever did bring this in here, i would be one of the ones affected. i tried to wear a mask when covid first happened and would have a panic attack in minutes and be reminded of when someone attempted to smother me when i was a kid. it was awful. but if masks become mandatory in nsw, how do i prove my reason unless i have a panic attack right in front of them which would be pointless as i would not be able to continue my shop anyway. i wish i was able to wear them but i cant. ive even tried at home and still have panic attacks


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