Masks to be SCRAPPED in shops in Victoria and NSW within days – here’s where you’ll still need to wear face coverings
The rule changes are clear cut in New South Wales, but complicated in Victoria
In NSW masks will be dropped in shops, with Covid check-ins mostly gone too
Victoria’s state of emergency officially ends at 11.59 on Wednesday night
By Padraig Collins For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 06:31 GMT, 13 December 2021 | Updated: 06:35 GMT, 13 December 2021
The compulsory face masks that have caused such grief throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – either for having to wear them or being annoyed at those who don’t wear them – are in their last days in NSW and Victorian shops.
Mask-wearing in NSW retail stores is being scrapped from December 15, and a day later in Victoria – though this has yet to be absolutely confirmed due to Victoria’s new pandemic legislation.
Daily Mail Australia takes a look at the mask rules in the coming days for Australia’s two biggest states below.
Say goodbye to mask wearing (pictured) in shops in NSW and Victoria (yet to be confirmed) from later this week
New South Wales
From December 15, masks will only be required on public transport and planes, at airports and for indoors front-of-house hospitality staff who are not fully vaccinated.
Masks will still be strongly encouraged in settings where you cannot social distance, but will no longer required in outdoor settings.
Covid Safe check-ins will only required for hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (including sex services), pubs, small bars and registered clubs, nightclubs, strip clubs, sex on premises and indoor music festivals with over 1,000 people.
The changes also mean there will be no limit to the number of visitors you can have in your home.
Remember shopping without masks (pictured)? You can experience it again later this week
There will also be no limit to the number of people allowed at outdoor public gatherings.
All visitors to residents in aged care facilities and disability homes are permitted in line with their policies.
Non-critical retail will reopen to all and there will be no person limit for personal services – including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours.
Sex services premises are also allowed to open.
For those who can’t remember shopping without masks (pictured), this is what it looks like
Victoria’s state of emergency officially ends at 11.59pm on Wednesday, and will instead be replaced with the new pandemic laws which carry ‘specific legal requirements’ that prevent restriction changes being made public before going through ‘proper processes’.
The changes give Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley the power to enforce restrictions, such as mask wearing, and make pandemic declarations, which were initially done by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton.
Bill Lang of Small Business Australia said the Victorian government did not give businesses clarity during the pandemic.
Unmasked shoppers (pictured) are getting into the Christmas spirit in Sydney
‘Those who work in retail must be left scratching their heads as to how their customers are forced to wear masks, yet people can congregate in the hundreds falling over each other at the pub or attend large events in their thousands, yet no mask is required,’ Mr Lang told The Herald Sun.
‘The government keeps on telling us that they are only following the health advice, though given their stubborn refusal to release this health advice and instead fight to the Supreme Court to keep it secret, I think many across the community have reached the point that they simply do not believe anything the government says.’
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