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How an epidemiologist thinks Victoria’s mask rules will change in coming weeks

3AW Mornings
Article image for How an epidemiologist thinks Victoria’s mask rules will change in coming weeks

A leading epidemiologist says Victoria’s rules on mask-wearing can be safely eased in coming weeks.

Chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, Professor Catherine Bennett, said mask compliance is beginning to slip, and it’ll get worse as the weather heats up.

“I think people are starting to make their own decisions about where they’re useful and where they’re not,” she told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

Professor Bennett said masks should remain compulsory in high risk areas, such as indoor spaces and public transport, but outdoor mask-wearing should become optional.

“I think, probably, the sooner the better,” she said.

“Let’s pull it back … but get it right in those areas where it can really help.”

It comes after Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton at the weekend indicated mask rules will be eased when community transmission stops.

Professor Bennett predicts masks could be ditched in indoor spaces, such as workplaces, with adequate social distancing, good air circulation and screens between people.

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