MASKED UP: Day 1 of mask mandate in Warwick
Many Warwick residents scrambled to adjust to the new normal on Tuesday as mandatory mask wearing took effect for the first time since the pandemic began.
The preventive coronavirus move comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a Greater Brisbane three-day lockdown on Monday after four new cases were detected.
According to Warwick Friendly Society pharmacist Ahmad Almesfer, the store had some compliance troubles early in the day but they soon eased.
“There are the few who believe you don’t need to wear a mask so there’s still that idea in society, but a lot also were entering places without a mask with the intention to purchase,” he said.
Mr Almesfer said masks stocks were not limited yet and encouraged residents to get in before reduced trading over the Easter break.
“Obviously we’ve sold quite a few due to the need to wear a mask, and while we are waiting on another shipment but still have some,” he said.
“We’ve stocked a bit more for these kinds of occasions and are much better prepared than in the past.”
Belle Vue Cafe owner Rosie Favero said most customers were on the ball today.
“I have had a couple of issues but it’s usually, ‘Oops I forgot’ or that sort of thing,” she said.
“No one has really said anything bad and it’s quite nice to look outside and see people trying.”
“I think because (customers) see us and we’ve got our masks on, it’s almost like leading by example.
The measure means masks are compulsory for all Southern Downs residents in indoor locations where social distancing is not possible and on public transport.
But others were resisting the directive.
One Warwick woman, who asked to remain anonymous due to the emotive subject, said she had been banned from entering her daughter’s kindergarten on Tuesday for not wearing a mask.
She said she chose not to wear the mask on a health basis.
“I was curious how it would play out in Warwick, as a small town, I know we objected to fluoride in our water and things like that,” she said.
“I think it doesn’t make sense to mandate it across the state where there’s no reason to in many areas.”
She said she knew of Warwick businesses also rejecting the health orders.
A $200 on-the-spot fine applies for anyone caught not wearing a mask without a lawful reason or excuse in Queensland currently.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi told Southern Downs residents to “stay safe” amid the growing clusters.
“The Chief Health Officer has asked us to follow a couple of directives and I for one will comply with those directives to avoid going into total lockdown again. I recommend that if we wish to overcome this invisible enemy, everyone in our community should do the same,” he said.
“I would not like to be responsible for one death and consequently given the amount of vulnerable people in the region, I urge everyone to heed the Chief Health Officer’s advice.”