The Australian government has decided that to keep its residents safe against Covid-19, everyone will now be required to wear a mask while drinking alcohol outside.
In a press announcement on Monday 16th August, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Australians in the state of Victoria will be banned from removing their masks to drink alcohol outside as Covid-19 cases “skyrocket.”
NEW – Australia: No taking your mask off while drinking alcohol outdoors.pic.twitter.com/FxJuSKu7W1
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 16, 2021
Andrews said: “There will be no removal of masks to consume alcohol outdoors, you will no longer be able to remove your mask to drink a cocktail at a pop-up beer garden on a footpath as part of a pub crawl.”
This announcement came after a “Walk. Talk. Sip” event which took place on the 14th of August, which encouraged citizens to walk from pub to pub in Melbourne and buy drinks.
The event prompted an investigation which was carried out by the Victorian police. Andrews blames the event for being responsible for the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in Victoria.
“But why am I angry about that? Because it devalues the work that thousands of publicans and restaurant owners and bar owners, the good work they are doing, diligently following COVID-safe protocols providing take-away.”
A lockdown is currently in effect which was supposed to end on August 19th but has been extended until September 2nd as a punishment for the event. Residents are prohibited to do anything outside of their own home from 9ptm to 5am.
Andrews added that all playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment are now closed indefinitely until the ‘deadly virus’ is no longer to be deemed an issue throughout the region.
This move is based on official data from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services claiming that 24 people tested “positive” for Covid-19. It is important to note that no deaths from the virus were reported.
This news comes as, across the pond, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden recently ordered the entire country into lockdown after a single case of Covid-19 was discovered.
New Zealand: “Do not speak to your neighbours, wear a mask outside“ pic.twitter.com/LRlh6OmbRc
— STTMLive (@RealSTTMLive) August 17, 2021
As a result, New Zealand’s Covid-19 threat level was increased to “Alert Level 4”, meaning that all public facilities, including bars and restaurants, were forced to close immediately, with citizens having to stay at home except for “essential personal movement.”
New Zealanders are now also required to wear face coverings at all times as well as socially distance from one another.
At a press conference, Arden said: “We ask people to stay two meters away from anyone you pass, stay local, and do not congregate.
“Don’t talk to your neighbours. Please keep to your bubble.”
It is disturbing to see that governments are restricting the freedoms of people without any real data or reasoning to justify these lockdowns and policies. What is equally as shocking is that the public goes along with it.