Victorians bought at least 1.5 million face masks on Sunday, after Premier Daniel Andrews announced wearing one would become mandatory for people in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire from Wednesday.
Chemist Warehouse stores sold 30,000 boxes of 50 masks – which equates to 1.5 million face masks – on the weekend, according to chief operating officer Mario Tascone.
“It was a pretty crazy day, yesterday, following Dan’s announcement,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
“The good news is that there is a lot of stock in the marketplace.”
Images shared on social media saw massive queues of people waiting outside Chemist Warehouses across Melbourne.
“Face masks are flying out the door,” one person said.
The true number of how many masks Melburnians bought on the weekend isn’t clear, since this 1.5 million figure obviously doesn’t include masks bought from independent sellers. (Need to find one? Here’s our list of where to buy a mask. And here’s a free downloadable pattern if you know how to sew.)
Andrews announced on Sunday that face masks would be compulsory for people in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire from 11.59pm on Wednesday. Anyone caught out and about without at least some kind of face covering can cop a $200 fine.
“It need not be a hospital-grade mask. It need not be one of the handmade masks … It can be a scarf, it can be a homemade mask,” Andrews said.
“We’re going to be wearing masks in Victoria and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time.”
It is also now recommended in NSW that you wear a mask in situations where social distancing is going to be tricky.