Today: Saturday, 4 July 2020 year

Austria to relax mandatory mask rules in coronavirus fight

Austria to relax mandatory mask rules in coronavirus fight

Austria’s government has announced that the European country is entering the new post-coronavirus phase in mid-June. On Friday, Chancellor Kurz said that that wearing face masks will no longer be mandatory in shops in a couple of weeks.

As Austria enters a fresh coronavirus phase of «fewer rules, more self-responsibility,» wearing of the personal face masks could be forgotten.

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March, covering the mouth and nose will only be mandatory in public transport across Europe, The Local Austria reports. The Austrian health facilities such as pharmacies and in places where social distancing rules are hard to keep. For instance, the beauty salons or nail-spa, said the head of the government.

«We are on a good path in Austria,… so we can begin the next phase —fewer rules, more self-responsibility,» Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

Despite the relaxing of the restrictions, Mr Kurz warned that while numbers of new infections had subsided, they could shoot up again quickly, urging citizens to use «common sense» to avoid posing a risk to others.

To sum it up, the easing of mask-wearing rules will take effect on June 15, when restaurants will also be allowed to stay open until 1 am.

In fact, the Austrian restaurants and cafes initially have reopened in mid-May, however, they had to close at 11 pm. The current limit of four adults per table will also be abolished.

In general, Austria is not the only European country that announced the relaxation of mask rules. Neighbouring Slovenia will also drop the requirement to wear a face mask but continues to recommend their use in situations where social distancing isn’t possible.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization issued a new recommendation regarding face mask amid coronavirus outbreak. The masks are obligatory only for healthy people who cares for coronavirus patients.

Austria with a population of nearly nine million on Friday had a rare day with no new COVID-19-related deaths reported. It has a total of 668 deaths out of 16,571 cases.