Covid Australia: Victoria ministers caught violating their OWN mandatory mask laws

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‘Do what I say, not what I do’: Victorian ministers criticized after being caught breaking their OWN mandatory mask laws during Melbourne’s hated lockdown

  • Victorian Labor ministers embarrassingly caught not wearing face masks
  • The blunder came the same day the Victorians told the mask rules would remain
  • Covid restrictions after a two-week lockdown are usually relaxed at midnight

The same day the Victorian government reversed its decision to relax restrictions on face masks, state ministers were caught breaking their own laws in the parliament building.

Face coverings remain mandatory statewide, both indoors and out – despite some evidence of outdoor Covid transmission during the current outbreak, which has now risen to 78 active cases.

Acting Prime Minister James Merlino was set to scrap the rule with lockdown restrictions set to be rolled back at midnight, but after four mysterious cases were registered in northern Melbourne on Wednesday, he announced that face masks must still be worn at all times.

Just hours later, several Labor Party ministers were found exposed in their parliamentary offices, sparking outrage among the long-suffering Victorians who labeled their leaders a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ government.

Minister for Disability, Aging and Carers Luke Donnellan had to apologize after he was seen on video without a mask chatting with staff in an office.

Disability, Aging and Carers Minister Luke Donnellan (pictured) had to apologise

Mr Donnella was spotted on video without a mask (pictured)

Mr Donnella was spotted on video without a mask (pictured)

Minister for the Disabled, Aging and Carers Luke Donnellan (pictured left and right) had to apologize after being seen on video without a mask chatting with staff in an office

Face coverings remain mandatory statewide, both indoors and out

Face coverings remain mandatory statewide, both indoors and out

Face coverings remain mandatory statewide, both indoors and out

“The rules are there for a reason and I apologize,” he said.

A parliamentary assistant told the Herald Sun they saw Agriculture Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas at the table without a mask, and another high-ranking politician unmasked in a corridor in the parliament building.

Ms. Thomas’s office said she was not wearing a mask because food was being consumed at the time – in accordance with state rules.

“These are the same ministers who tell Melburnians to wear masks inside and out,” the staffer said.

“They are a kind of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ government. It makes my blood boil to think that these same people are the ones who make these rules and have chosen to break them.

“It’s a joke and if Victorians could see how these ministers acted behind closed doors they would be damn furious.”

A parliamentarian said they saw Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas (pictured) at a table without a mask.  She said she was eating at the time and therefore didn't break any rules

A parliamentarian said they saw Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas (pictured) at a table without a mask.  She said she was eating at the time and therefore didn't break any rules

A parliamentarian said they saw Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas (pictured) at a table without a mask. She said she was eating at the time and therefore didn’t break any rules

Since the Covid pandemic hit Australia’s shores, Victoria has faced some of the world’s toughest restrictions with four Stage Three lockdowns, including the brutal 112-day take-home order last year.

Mr Merlino said during his Covid briefing on the face mask issue today: ‘It’s a bit clunky, but it’s easy to do.’

Liberal Party opposition spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said there is one rule for the government and another for the rest of Victoria.

“The government makes the rules that we all have to live by, and berates us if we don’t,” she said on Twitter.

‘Yet the same decision-makers mock them arrogantly. What hypocrisy.’

But allegations have also been made about ignoring mask restrictions on the other side of the political aisle and with claims that Liberal MP Matthew Guy had also broken the rules.

A spokesman for Mr Guy has dismissed the claims, calling them nonsense.

The four new locally acquired businesses are from the same household and the source of acquisition is being investigated

The four new locally acquired businesses are from the same household and the source of acquisition is being investigated

The four new locally acquired businesses are from the same household and the source of acquisition is being investigated

The health ministry said the cases were from the same household and “investigations into the acquisition source are ongoing”

NEW RULES FOR MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA FROM FRIDAY 00.01

Melbourne

What you can do:

Travel 25 km from your home

Hold an outdoor meeting with up to 10 people

Go to school for face-to-face learning

Attend a funeral with up to 50 people and weddings at 10

Head to restaurants and cafes to reopen, with up to 100 people outside and 50 people inside

Go to stores, with a density limit of one person per four square meters

Get your hair done with a mask on

Working out outside with 50 people

What you can’t do

Throw a party, go to bars, go to a nightclub or concert

Have any guests come to your house

Go to the gym

Travel further than 25 km from your home, unless in exceptional circumstances

Regional Victoria – already subject to the above rules, but with additional easing

Visit another house, with a maximum of two adults per household

Gathering in the pubic area with a maximum of 20 people

Go to a restaurant or cafe with up to 150 people outdoors or 75 indoors

Attend a religious ceremony, with a maximum of 150 people outside or 75 inside

Attend funerals capped at 75 and weddings capped at 20

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