A study funded by the Victorian government found mask-wearing was the single most effective public health measure in getting Melbourne's second wave COVID-19 outbreak under control. With masked faces becoming more commonplace over the course of the pandemic, there is talk of how wearing masks could be more actively embraced in Australian culture more generally, such as when visiting hospitals or aged care homes.

Speaking to The Age, Non-Resident Fellow Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott weighed in on the varying attitudes to mask-wearing.

“In many Asian countries, wearing masks is seen as a socially responsible thing to do – particularly if the wearer might have any indications of the common cold. They look at it as part of their social responsibility," Associate Professor Kamradt-Scott explained.

"In the West, we have tended to look at people wearing masks with suspicion.”