Last week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews recommended that people in regional areas over the age of 18 should wear masks when unable to socially distance, to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
And many in Ararat and surrounding towns have heeded his advice.
Whilst visiting Halls Gap, trio Samantha Hammerstein of Ararat, Jaymi Rousch (Great Western) and Emily May (Ararat) donned protective masks for the first time.
"Honestly, this doesn't harm us to wear on," Samantha said.
"It's just a safety precaution, because our concern has gone up. Even though people around here are doing the right thing, our concern has gone up."
Sitting on a bench overlooking Stoney Creek in Halls Gap, Geelong couple Jess Mohr and Nathan Simpfen-Dorfer agreed all regional residents should wear masks when social distancing is not an option.
"Mask are a good idea," Nathan said. "We're thinking about buying masks, but they are not cheap. Factoring in the costs of buying masks when you don't have a job is difficult."
Sipping a coffee and reading the paper in the morning on Ararat's Barkly St, Beaufort's Maurice Trainor said he was feeling optimistic.
"We're in a bubble. I feel safe right now," he said. "I might wear a mask if I need to, but not right now."
Just up the street, Ken Hennessy of Ararat West waits in a socially-distanced outside of Telstra.
He said he is becoming more worried about the future.
"I'm quite happy at the moment, but I am getting more and more worried," he said. "To me, it appears too many people aren't abiding by the rules. No one knows who has COVID-19, so I might wear a mask in the future."
Ararat's Lynne Hall-Cavanagh believes some people just too blasé.
"I'm resigned to the fact this is how life will be for a while," she said. "It's no fun at the moment - I live alone and I can't risk being sick. I should get a mask, but I think we're a bit too blasé, which is a scary thing."
Since the Premier's announcement, masks are mandatory for all Melbourne and Mitchell Shire residents when leaving their house. Police can issue a $200 fine for non-compliance.