Residents in virus-free regional areas including the Ballarat region could be still wearing masks at Christmas, with the Victorian government beefing up rules around face coverings.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday, as part of metropolitan Melbourne's move to step two on his road map out of restrictions, all Victorians would be required to wear a fitted face mask covering the nose and mouth for the foreseeable future.
"Some of the concessions we made as we adjusted to this new normal, things like wearing a scarf or a bandana or a face shield, will no longer apply," he said.
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"As I've said before, wearing a face covering is a small sacrifice, but it makes a huge difference in keeping all of us safe.
"None of it's easy, but all of it matters."
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Mr Andrews confirmed there was no timeline on removing the requirement on wearing masks.
"We will look at that very carefully," he said.
"As we get into the warmer months we know that the degree of discomfort associated with them potentially gets higher.
The benefit is really clear. And it is something we can control."
There is a $200 fine for not wearing a mask.
Meanwhile, the Australian Hotels Association's Victorian branch has called on the government to bring forward the time-frames for restrictions to be eased given the sharp reduction in COVID cases.
Red Lion publican and AHA Victorian president David Canny said the fall in the number of COVID-19 cases warranted greater flexibility in the government's hospitality industry restart guidelines.
"Regional Victoria is leading the way and country pubs should be allowed to increase their patron capacities for indoor areas," he said.
"Ten people for two indoor spaces should be increased to 20 people per enclosed space."
Mr Tilley said the regional road map also needed to be revisited before moving to the next step.
"I get that the Labor government doesn't want to give us too much freedom because they think it will offend their voting base in Melbourne," he said.
"But as each day goes by, we are finding ridiculous anomalies."
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