Published: 20:24 EDT, 21 September 2020 | Updated: 22:43 EDT, 21 September 2020

Fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith has been forced to defend herself after she was slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old model shared a seemingly innocent picture on Instagram showing her wearing a bikini, along with a blue face covering on Sunday.

In her social media post, she explained how she was ‘incredibly gratefulto travel to a beach within her 5km radius from her home after the COVID-19 Stage Four restrictions eased on September 13 to allow residents to go outside for a maximum of two hours a day for exercising or social interaction with one other person.

‘It’s the little thingsJust getting to sit on the beach for an hour without having toexerciseas an excuse to be there was heavenly,’ Steph wrote.

But critics quickly took issue with her for wearing a face mask at the beach, while others criticised the state’s ‘tyrannycoronavirus restrictions.

Under tough restrictions, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home or they can be slapped with a $200 fine for not doing so unless they have a lawful reason such as a medical condition or are under the age of 12.

Fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith (pictured) has been forced to defend herself against critics after she was slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach

In her social media post, she explained how she was ‘incredibly gratefulto travel to a beach within her 5km radius from her home after COVID-19 restrictions eased to allow residents to go outside for up to two hours of socialising and exercising

Over the weekend, scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne to enjoy the 26C heat (picture left of and right of women wearing a face mask while sun baking)

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state’s mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Wearing a face covering is mandatory across Victoria but some online trolls demanded her to ‘take off the maskwhile others questioned her decision to cover up at the beach.

‘Don’t understand the mask out in the open fresh air,’ one wrote, while another added: ‘The mask don’t work, why are you wearing it?’

Another person said: ‘Take off the mask! Just because the government makes something law doesn’t make it right. It’s clearly not about health when you have to wear a mask even when outside or not in a crowded place.

One mother, who doesn’t live in Victoria, criticised the ‘tyranny’ state, saying: ‘What a place to live. 23 hour home detention, mandatory masks anytime you leave the house, one hour exercise within 5km, no church, funerals, weddings, drone surveillanceyikes! No thank you.

‘She puts it on InstagramTo promote itI guess she gets paid from it. It is not really her job to advocate people to think but it is a bit scary that people follow so easy,’ one claimed.

But Steph quickly addressed the criticism on her Instagram story, saying she was simply following the rules while Melbourne has remained under Stage Four restrictions since August 2.

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state’s mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.

The rule follows after the state was gripped by its second wave of COVID-19 and increasing evidence that wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of coronavirus.

‘To all the people questioning me wearing a mask or thinking it’s ridiculous, here in Melbourne we have to wear one anytime we’re outside of the house,’ Steph wrote.

‘Now I’m not going to argue your points, some are fair and some are not. But no, I am absolutely not getting paid to wear a mask and promote it.

‘I just wanted a photo at the beachand didn’t want to bend the rules or promote breaking the law by not wearing a mask.

Despite the backlash, dozens of fans quickly jumped to her defence, with many firing back at the ‘ridiculous’ comments.

‘It was a cracking weekend here in Melbourne and the beach was probably pretty packed with other people enjoying some Vitamin Djust because she’s alone in the picture doesn’t mean she was alone on an entire beach,’ one woman wrote.

A second woman said: ‘So stop asking her why she’s wearing a mask at the beach. Unless your living in Melbourne yourself you have no idea what it’s like to live with these restrictions.

Restrictions were initially due to end on September 13, but Premier Dan Andrews extended the restrictions for two weeks as Melbourne remains in Stage Four lockdown until at least October 26.

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Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8757629/Steph-Claire-Smith-forced-defend-slammed-wearing-face-mask-beach.html

Mask, Melbourne, Coronavirus

World news – GB – Fitness star defends herself after being slammed for wearing face mask

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