National News

Victorians to wear masks, 363 virus cases

Melburnians must mask up to leave their homes as Victoria notches another three deaths and 363 fresh coronavirus cases.

Two men and a woman, aged in their 90s, with the virus have died, taking the state's toll to 38 and upping the national total to 122.

There are 2837 active cases across the state on Sunday, with 130 people in hospital, 28 of those in intensive care.

Thirty-six of the new cases are linked to outbreaks while 327 cases are under investigation. There have been 5696 COVID-19 cases in the state.

People who live in metropolitan Melbourne and in the Mitchell Shire must put on a face mask or face covering if leaving their homes for the four allowed reasons from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

"If you are out of your home for one of the four reasons, then you need to be wearing a mask and I stress - or a face covering - it need not be a hospital grade mask, it need not be one of the handmade masks," Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday.

"Any face covering is better than no face-covering."

Residents in impacted areas have been told to reach for the face covering along with their phone and keys, or face a $200 fine.

Up to three million face masks are on order by the Victorian government with a batch of 300,000 due to arrive this week, he added.

But there are some reasons for not wearing a masks such as medical reasons, children aged under 12, a professional reason or if not practical - like running - but individuals need to carry a mask with them.

Teachers won't need to wear a face covering while teaching but students there for VCE, VCAL or for onsite supervision will.

Opposition leader Michael O'Brien said the premier needed to make sure masks were available "quickly" and "affordable" to Victorians.

The State of Emergency has been extended until 11.59pm on August 16.

More than 1.3 million tests have been done in the state, with 26,674 tests done on Saturday alone.

About 80 per cent of new cases since mid-May are linked to workplaces prompting an inspection blitz, Mr Andrews announced.

The crackdown will target at-risk Victorian workplaces which includes distribution centres, call centres and meat processing centres.

Due to the high risk of transmission in aged care and health from July 22, visitation will be restricted to carers only - and only for an hour per day.

Aged care staff will be also be able to get free testing, even if they don't have symptoms, the state government added.

Meanwhile, many public housing residents in North Melbourne have ended a two-week 'hard' lockdown after a coronavirus outbreak.

But 123 residents of the Alfred Street tower, who have the virus or are a close contact of someone who does, must stay inside until cleared.

They will then be able to leave their homes for food, medicine, exercise, study and work - like the rest of Melbourne.

© AAP 2020