“Reports that the State Government is considering removing office face mask rules are most welcome. The current COVID restrictions which require the use of face masks at work are choking Victoria’s economy, and particularly Melbourne’s CBD. The requirement for people to be wearing masks for all internal areas should be relaxed immediately, especially for those working in offices and factory settings,” Tim Piper, the Victorian Head of the peak employer association Ai Group said today.
“The face mask rule is causing workers to shun the CBD and not go to work in their offices or workplaces.
“Currently you see the absurd situation on a zoom meeting with people in an office – even by themselves – needing to have a mask on, while those at home do not use masks. Obviously it’s an active discouragement to getting back into the office work environment.
“The CBD is at a particularly low ebb, as office workers don’t want to spend the day with a mask on their face. Until changes are made, workers will be unwilling to return to work and we certainly won’t get the public servants back into the city. And of course, this has a major impact on CBD businesses which are suffering more than most.
“In reconsidering the blanket workplace mask rule the Government should instead return the State to the restrictions applicable in May. This would mean that masks would still be required in some areas, but not all indoor areas, except at home, as is currently the case,” Mr Piper said.