Victoria is tightening its coronavirus restrictions as it reports several new cases – with face masks mandatory indoors from tonight

Masks will be mandatory indoors in Victoria. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
  • Masks will be mandatory indoors across Victoria from 5pm on Thursday under the state’s latest coronavirus restrictions.
  • It comes as Melbourne recorded three new coronavirus cases.
  • Victoria’s government is also encouraging residents not to travel to New South Wales.
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Victoria has tightened its restrictions amid new coronavirus cases in the state and in neighbouring New South Wales.

As Victoria reported three new coronavirus cases – as well as 10 active cases – the state government introduced the use of face masks indoors. As of 5pm on Thursday, all residents in Victoria must wear a mask indoors. When leaving home, they have to take a mask and wear it anytime they are inside – apart from when they are eating or drinking.

The state government is also reducing the limit on the number of people allowed in homes from 30 to 15.

Victoria cancelled its New Year’s fireworks in the CBD, however residents are able to attend hospitality venues if they have a booking.

There are fresh restrictions for the border between New South Wales and Victoria. Victorians who have visited Wollongong or the Blue Mountains region from December 27 have until 11.59pm on December 31 to return to their state. The green zone permits that had initially allowed travellers into those regions are no longer valid.

People heading back into Victoria from those regions, however, have to get tested within 24 hours of returning and quarantine at home for 14 days.

“This is very important that people think about their travel plans and as we are seeing what’s emerging from New South Wales is that this is a very dynamic situation,” Victoria’s Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said at a press conference on Thursday.

“We are monitoring it very, very closely and the advice about travel, the advice about how people can come back into Victoria, could change at a moment’s notice.”

Victoria is also closed to people in Greater Sydney and the Northern Beaches.

“Victoria’s border with New South Wales remains closed and no one who has been in the Northern Beaches area, Greater Sydney, and the NSW Central Coast can enter,” the Victorian Government’s Health Department said on Twitter.

Victorians are now being advised by the state government to reconsider travelling to New South Wales.

“Do not go to New South Wales if you are in Victoria,” Victoria Health Minister Martin Foley said. “And if you are a Victorian in New South Wales – well beyond Wollongong and the Blue Mountains – come back.”

South Australia is also bringing back its hard border closure with New South Wales from 12.01am on New Year’s Day, the ABC reported. It means those travelling from New South Wales won’t be allowed into South Australia unless they are returning residents, essential travellers or permanently relocating. Once they return, they will need to self isolate for 14 days.

There will, however, be a 100 kilometre buffer zone for people in border communities such as Wentworth and Broken Hill.

The new restrictions come as New South Wales continues to report coronavirus cases, with 10 local cases reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.