Austria re-introduced the mandatory wearing of masks in supermarkets

Austrian authorities have decided to re-introduce the mandatory wearing of masks in supermarkets, banks, and post offices to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday.

He said that in recent weeks, the number of new infections per day has increased by three digits, which is why it is necessary to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We have decided to reintroduce the mandatory wearing of masks in supermarkets, banks, and post offices, in all areas of everyday life,” Kurz said at a press conference.
The wearing of masks in these areas becomes mandatory again from Friday.

“We need to understand that the disease is still there, that there is a danger of infection, so distance and hand hygiene are still important, and protecting the nose and mouth has a symbolic effect,” Kurtz added.

As specified by the head of the Austrian Ministry of health Rudolf Anschober, as of July 21, only 19 thousand confirmed cases in Austria, over the past day – 84 new cases.

On April 14, the Austrian authorities began easing measures to combat the coronavirus, while obliging the population to wear masks in public places. Since June 15, nose and mouth protection has only been required in three cases: in public transport, in the health sector, including pharmacies, and in-service industries where it is impossible to maintain a minimum distance (for example, hairdressers and catering workers). In schools, shops, cafes, and hotels, visitors did not need to wear a mask.

Doctor of Natural Sciences, Privat-associate Professor of the Department of environmental hygiene and environmental medicine at the Medical University of Vienna Hans-Peter Hutter, it will be safe to cancel the mandatory wearing of masks in supermarkets only after all restrictions due to the coronavirus are removed, including freedom of movement, and provided that the return to a healthy life does not provoke a re-growth of infections.