A bit more normality again – starting today, 15th of June 2020

The obligation to wear masks will be massively relaxed from today. Only the one-meter rule remains in place.

Vienna –  Austria is now relying on individual responsibility instead of regulations. The obligation to wear masks will largely be abolished (see Graphic). We no longer need face masks when shopping in shops or supermarkets. The MNS regulation is also dropped for guests visiting the restaurant. The hotel industry can also be happy about the fall of the mask obligation. Until now, staff and guests had to wear masks in entrance and reception areas. But waiters in restaurants must continue to wear mask.

However, such relaxations are seen with reservations: “We must continue to be extremely vigilant and consistently adhere to the hygiene measures and the minimum distance as well as the requirements for the opening steps”, said Health Minister Rudi Anschober. If the number of infections increases again, he warns, “we would have to quickly reverse the relaxation steps”.

But it is not only the mask obligation that will be largely abolished: trade fairs and congresses, which were previously prohibited due to the corona protection regulations, will be allowed again from today under certain conditions. For example, an official permit must be obtained and a Covid 19 prevention concept must be presented: “Congresses and events are an indispensable factor for Austria as a tourist location”, says ÖVP Tourism Minister Köstinger.

The obligation to wear masks will now also be abolished for holiday camps, summer camps and extracurricular youth events.It is possible, however, that Austria’s neighbouring countries will benefit from this: At the same time as the compulsory wearing of masks, travel restrictions will be lifted. In Europe, it is once again possible to go on holiday; only risk countries such as Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Great Britain are subject to restrictions.

— Hector Pascua

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