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FFP2 masks now mandatory across Austria

The Local Austria
The Local Austria - [email protected]
FFP2 masks now mandatory across Austria
Photo: AFP

FFP2 masks are required from today, January 25th, in public transport, shops, long-distance transit, airports and other places.

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FFP2 masks will now be required in all retail shops and supermarkets, along with public transport throughout Austria. 

Long-distance trains will also require FFP2 masks, as will doctors surgeries, airports and aeroplanes.  

Anyone who fails to wear a mask in a long-distance train in Austria will risk a fine of 40 euros. 

Previously, cotton masks or scarves were sufficient to satisfy the regulation. 

EXPLAINED: Why is Austria making FFP2 masks mandatory? 

Austria put in place a range of stricter rules after a meeting on January 17th, including extending the lockdown until February 7th. 

READ MORE: Austria extends lockdown until February 7th

While FFP2 masks are more expensive than standard medical masks, the government has promised that they will be available to Austrians at cost price. 

People on low incomes would be entitled to the masks for free, a government spokesperson said. 

 

READ MORE: How much is the fine for not wearing a mask in Austria?

Supermarkets Lidl, Spar and Rewe told APA on Sunday that they would be selling the masks at cost price - although they were unable to confirm the exact costs of the masks on Sunday. 

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A spokesperson from Rewe told Der Standard that the masks would be offered “as cheaply as possible”. 

The retailers also indicated that there would be no issues with supply, even as demand is set to spike as a result of the new law. 

“Any mouth and nose protection is good, but the FFP2 mask is massively better," said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) on Sunday. 

FFP2 masks offer better protection against the coronavirus and other pathogens, with up to 94 percent of aerosols filtered out. 

 

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