In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has announced that from 11.59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020 face coverings are mandatory for all Victorians aged 12 and over when they leave home. This will help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and help protect the community.
The Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that any type of face covering is acceptable – it does not need to be a surgical mask.
Face coverings in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services
In ECEC services, including kindergartens:
- it is not mandatory for teachers and educators to wear a face covering while working with children, but those who wish to do so can
- staff are required to wear face coverings when not working with children in other areas of the service (for example, in reception areas, staff rooms and foyers, when providing first aid or taking temperatures), and in travelling to and from your service
- parents are required to wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up times
- children aged under 12 are not required to wear a face covering. Face coverings should never be placed on children aged under two due to choking and strangulation risks.
A person who has a medical condition – including problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition – is not required to wear a mask or face covering.
Posters for your service
We have developed a range of posters for services to display which help explain face coverings and other risk-mitigation strategies: These include:
The Department of Health and Human Services website has additional advice about face coverings, including:
Worksafe advice about face coverings in the workplace
The Victorian Chief Health Officer has directed that employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that employees wear a face covering at all times when working at the employer’s premises.
As the Department is not the owner or employer of early childhood services, it is up to each provider to meet these obligations.
For more information, visit WorkSafe
Sourcing face coverings
If you are having short-term difficulty sourcing face coverings for staff, we may be able to provide you with a number of single-use masks while you establish supply. Email Early.Childhood.Implementation@edumail.vic.gov.au to request assistance.
Funded kindergarten providers will be given priority.