Survey shows: 81 percent of Austrians support compulsory masks

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A survey has shown that four out of five Austrians are in favor of compulsory masks in parts of public life. The approval is thus almost as high as during the lockdown.

Most Austrians are in favor of making masks mandatory in parts of public life. In the latest survey conducted as part of the Austrian Corona Panel Project at the University of Vienna, 81 percent stated that in their opinion, an obligation to wear a mask should currently apply in stores and public transport. This is a similar number of supporters as during the lockdown, when 85 percent of respondents in a survey at the end of April approved of this measure.

Masks mandatory since 6 April 2020 in Austria
The mask obligation was introduced in Austria on April 6th during the lockdown. When researchers at the University of Vienna first surveyed Austrians’ attitudes to compulsory masks in public places and stores at the end of April, 55 percent were “definitely” in favor and another 30 percent were more likely to be in favor. Only six percent thought that this measure should not apply under any circumstances and another nine percent were rather against it.

Shortly after Easter, the lockdown measures were gradually withdrawn, and as a result, approval for compulsory masks also declined. In June, the researchers recorded the lowest point so far in their data: only a narrow majority of 56 percent of those surveyed were in favor of wearing mouth and nose protection; just under 21 percent thought that compulsory masks should not apply under any circumstances at that time, and another 24 percent were rather against it. On June 15, the obligation to wear a mask was then withdrawn, with the exception of the public sector and the health sector.

With the increase in the number of infections, however, the acceptance of mouth and nose protection in Austria has increased again: In mid-August, three weeks after the government had extended the obligation to wear masks to grocery stores, post offices and bank branches, almost eight out of ten respondents were once again in favor of mandatory mouth and nose protection in public buildings and food stores.

Slight increase in acceptance of compulsory masks
The latest wave of surveys conducted by the Austrian Corona Panel Project from September 11th to 18th once again brought a slight increase in acceptance. At that time, tightening regulations such as compulsory masks had already come into force in the retail trade, the service sector and public authorities as well as in schools. On September 17, an extension to include visitors to restaurants, markets and trade fairs was announced. Just under 57 percent agreed to compulsory masks in public places and stores “by all means” and another 24 percent more likely. Only around nine percent were firmly against making masks mandatory, while almost ten percent were against it.

— Hector Pascua, Source: APA and News Agencies. Picture: stockilyapp.com

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