VIENNA – Masks are back in Austria

Wearing face masks will become mandatory again as of Friday (24 July) in grocery stores, post offices and banks. Previously, masks had been mandatory in all shops up until mid-June. Several new COVID-19 clusters have started to appear, mostly in slaughterhouses and churches, pushing the number of daily infections above 100.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) also hopes that seeing others wear a mask would trigger a psychological effect. “The more it disappears, the more carefree people become”, he told a press conference, during which the government announced the measures.

Although  the press conference was supposed to be held on Sunday, it was delayed due to Kurz attending the European Council in Brussels. This drew criticism from the social democrats (SPÖ), who had accused Kurz of delaying an important measure just because he wanted to be the one to announce it.

(Philipp Grüll |

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