News National Australians finally embrace face masks, as a fashion statement
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Australians finally embrace face masks, as a fashion statement

Australians in coronavirus hotspots like Melbourne are being encouraged to wear face masks. Photo: Getty
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Face masks are the must-have accessory of 2020.

After months of back and forth over whether masks are effective against COVID-19, the personal protective item is now making a comeback.

The change of heart came on Friday, when federal deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth encouraged all five million Victorians to wear face masks – and even make their own – to help curb the state’s spike in coronavirus cases.

His recommendation was backed by Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton, who said a Lancet study had found masks could reduce transmission of the virus by up to two-thirds when worn across a broad section of the population.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has also jumped on board, performing a demonstration of how to wear a face mask at Monday’s press conference.

A similar shift in attitude is occurring in the United Kingdom and the United States, too.

On Saturday, US President Donald Trump donned a mask for the first time in public during a visit to a military hospital.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that ministers were “looking at ways of making sure that people really do have face coverings, in shops, for example”.

Aside from encouraging citizens to wear face masks, how else do leaders get everyone to play ball?

As model Tyra Banks would say, make it fashion.

Celebrities like American singer Lady Gaga have begun embracing the prevention measure as the latest trend, encouraging others to do the same.

Here in Australia, the chance to get creative by mixing function and fashion is quickly taking off.

Adelaide company Hey Reflect’o is selling bright and colourful designs, while Sydney sleepwear brand Papinelle has opted for a sleek and silky look.

If you want to have a go at making your own, check out a step-by-step DIY face mask tutorial by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr Alice Gubbins in Melbourne – Australia’s style capital – is already one step ahead.

Melbourne’s Dr Alice Gubbins has been sporting her home-made mask. Photo: Instagram