Constituency question – COVID Restrictions

My question is to the Minister for Health, and I ask him to provide information on the rationale behind imposing restrictive mask rules on beauty therapy treatments in regional Victoria.

This mask rule is one I have spoken about many times in this chamber, for good reason. I have explained to the chamber the high levels of training beauty therapists have in infection control and outlined the rigorous processes and procedures they put in place to ensure health risks are significantly reduced.

When restrictions previously eased in regional Victoria on 9 August, masks could be removed for beauty services. However, when restrictions were eased last week the mask rule was back, causing a great deal of anger and confusion for my constituents in the industry. They would appreciate an explanation for the endless inconsistencies under Labor that don’t seem to make sense.

They don’t understand how the ‘public health advice’—advice the public has never seen, I might add—could have changed so quickly considering case numbers in regional areas are low and how vaccinations have been embraced, with first doses already over 70 per cent.

These struggling sole traders and small businesses, who provide for themselves and their families, don’t understand why their industry is singled out with such restrictive measures. In Melbourne construction continues in earnest despite multiple major outbreaks, yet in regional Victoria beauty therapy treatments are forced to operate under stricter restrictions than previously.

Minister, can you explain how the public health team came to their decision and release the information for the public to see?