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‘We need to find the balance’: Epidemiologist says it’s time to change mask rules

Article image for ‘We need to find the balance’: Epidemiologist says it’s time to change mask rules

A leading epidemiologist says COVID-19 transmission risk in outdoor environments is ‘minimal’ and says masks should only be required in specific settings.

It comes as the state government flagged the possibility that changes to mandatory mask wearing could be coming soon.

Associate Professor at La Trobe University Dr Hassan Vally says it’s about finding the balance between using the mask when it can be effective, and dispensing of it when it does not offer any significant benefit.

“I think we are getting to the point we’re we’ve squashed transmission to such an extent, that the risk when you’re outdoors… is pretty minimal,” he told Neil Mitchell on 3AW Mornings.

Dr Vally says the inside of shops and public transport were two high risk environments where masks should continue to be worn.

“Those are the big ones,” he said.

“They are two really high risk situations where people are getting out and about.”

However, Dr Vally indicated that it’s not just about the pure science, it’s the psychology that’s important as well.

“I’m guessing that’s why the government are holding off on making changes to mask wearing,” he said.

“This has been a massive change we go about in our daily activities… and now we need to find that balance.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview below

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