Austria Among First EU Country To Make High-Quality Covid Masks Mandatory

Key Measures To Avoid Another Covid Wave

Key Measures To Avoid Another Covid Wave. image: Pixabay

Austria Among First EU Country To Make High-Quality Covid Masks Mandatory.

AUSTRIANS on Monday swapped their cloth face coverings for medical-grade FFP2 masks, which are now mandatory for those over the age of 14 on public transport, shops and businesses, pharmacies as well as hospitals or medical practices.

Austria now becomes one of the first European countries to make FFP2 masks mandatory. The measure has largely been accepted without complaint, despite controversy over other measures such as the closing of schools while ski lifts remain open.

“Because of the (more contagious) variants of the coronavirus, it is necessary to protect yourself better,” said 24-year-old Vienna resident and graphic designer Hannah Zuegner.

“If everyone participates, I think it will change the situation, especially when the vaccines arrive,” she said.

Though often sold for more than 5 euros each just a few weeks ago, the masks, which block 94 per cent of aerosols, can now be found at all grocery stores for 59 cents each. Elderly residents and low-income households received packs of free FFP2 masks last week.

The measure also applies to supermarkets and to service providers such as garage owners and health professionals, while teachers, warehouse workers and people in the public service must also comply at their workplace unless a minimum distance of two metres can be ensured. Pregnant women and people with medical conditions that make it harder for them to breathe are exempt from wearing the masks.

The following measures are currently in effect in Austria:

Measures that are in effect at least until 7 February include:

  • Only essential shops are open- shoppers must wear FFP2 masks.
  • Austrians are required to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons.
  • All Museums are closed.
  • A landing ban for flights from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil is in effect.

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Tony Winterburn

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