Facemasks on Monday became mandatory in Australia's largest city Greater Sydney due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From midnight Monday, police can issue $200 on-the-spot fines for violators who are caught not wearing facemask in certain areas.
Facemasks are mandatory in Shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres), public or shared transport, indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres), places of worship, hair and beauty premises, gaming areas of venues.
Children under 12 are not required to wear a mask but are encouraged to wear facemasks where practicable.
The Chief Health Officer of New South Wales state Kerry Chant could not say how long the measure would be in place. The state on Monday reported its first 24-hour period without a new COVID-19 infection being detected since December 15. A cluster that started in Sydney last month has spread to Melbourne, Australia's second-largest party, where masks have been mandatory since July.
Australian officials said three new cases had been detected in Melbourne during the latest 24-hour period, bringing the national total to 28,504. Only 26 COVID-19 patients were in Australian hospitals on Monday and none were in an intensive care unit, official said.