A face mask rule has been tossed out after it was described as “absolute nonsense” by members of the public, who expressed skepticism over its effectiveness days earlier.
Part of Greater Brisbane’s strict three-day lockdown conditions required that residents wear masks whenever they left their home, even if they were to travel in their car alone.
The strict rules were put in place after the UK mutant strain of Covid-19 was detected in a hotel worker, who moved through the community for five days while potentially infectious.
The woman’s partner was found to have Covid on Monday, and while it hasn’t been confirmed, it is likely he is also infected with the same highly contagious UK strain.
Greater Brisbane residents were quick to raise questions about having to wear a mask while in a car alone, with people expressing confusion over why it was mandatory.
The rule was described as “rubbish”, “ridiculous”, “a joke” and “the dumbest idea ever”.
“No wonder people don't believe in the system. This is absolute nonsense,” one woman said.
When addressing the public on Monday, the last day of the strict lockdown, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk updated the face mask rules, which she said would remain for the next 10 days.
“You do not have to wear a mask if you are in your own vehicle, or if you have your family in your own vehicle,” she told reporters.
The Queensland region ended its lockdown at 6pm (local time) on Monday, with residents requested to comply with a host of other rules until January 22.
People in Greater Brisbane areas including Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redlands will still need to wear masks in shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and indoor markets.
Masks will also be required in hospitals and aged care facilities, in churches and places of worship, libraries and indoor recreational facilities, such as cinemas, art galleries, and gyms.
Indoor and outdoor gatherings will also be restricted to 20 people.
Ms Palaszczuk implored residents who were unsure if they needed to wear a mask in certain scenarios, to take the safe option and wear one anyway.
“When in doubt, wear a mask, that is very simple. But it is those crowded areas, we just want Greater Brisbane for the next 10 days to all be part of this mask wearing,” she said.
Zero cases of community transmission were reported for the state on Monday.
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