Studies show wearing masks can significantly reduce the virus from spreading.(AAP: Steven Saphore)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelSydney should follow Melbourne's lead and make it compulsory to wear a mask, despite current health advice, a leading expert says.Key points:NSW recorded 20 new cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm on SundayOne expert said that pushed the state close to an "alert level" at which she'd advise compulsory mask wearingNSW chief medical officer Kerry Chant said masks weren't practical to wear in pubs and restaurantsVictoria this week ordered face masks be worn in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire whenever people leave their home.Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiologist and World Health Organization (WHO) adviser, said a similar order should be implemented across the whole of Sydney "within days" to stem the outbreak in NSW."I know this will be criticised because it's across a wide geographical area, but that's the point, Professor McLaws said.Professor McLaws helped the WHO evaluate evidence on the efficacy of cloth and fabric masks and said new evidence showed wearing almost "any sort of cloth is better than a bare face".Coronavirus latest: Follow all the latest information in our COVID-19 live blog.On Monday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she believed it was a "personal choice" if people of her state chose to wear masks day to day, as health authorities had not deemed them a necessity.NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant agreed, describing face masks as "prudent" for situations where social distancing was not possible.But Dr Chant said masks should be used in conjunction with other measures, such as staying home when sick, testing and social distancing."Face masks are complementary," she said."They are an adjunct and an important one, particularly in circumstances where you can't social distance or if you are unwell and are seeking health care."Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Nick Coatsworth, said making mask use compulsory wasn't a simple task."Mandating mask use,
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