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No masks and no dancing: What are the rules for watching the football in public in Austria?

Austria has relaxed most of its coronavirus measures, but there are still some rules in place for ‘public viewings’. Here’s what you need to know.

No masks and no dancing: What are the rules for watching the football in public in Austria?
An Austrian football fan. Photo: LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

The Euro 2020 football tournament has coincided with a run of warm weather and a relaxation of the government’s coronavirus measures. 

When combined with the strong form of the Austrian national side, it’s little wonder that ‘public viewing’ sites have sprung up all over Austria. 

READ MORE: Where can I watch Austria’s Euro 2020 matches in Vienna? 

One area of confusion however has been the rules for public viewings, with fans asking whether they can sing, cheer and dance – and whether masks are still required. 

Must stay seated – but can go mask free

Lieutenant Colonel Markus Tilli told Austria’s Kronen Zeitung newspaper that the rules for watching football at large gatherings were the same as in any pub or restaurant – i.e. that no special dispensations were made for football fans. 

This means that people need to be vaccinated, recovered or test negative to the virus to attend – i.e. in compliance with Austria’s 3G rule. 

‘3G Rule’: How to prove you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in Austria

Everyone in attendance will have to be seated – but will be allowed to remove their masks. 

Tilli said that people were only allowed to get out of their seats to go to the toilet. 

He did however say that the police did exercise a certain amount of discretion in specific moments, for instance when celebrating a goal or singing the national anthem. 

The rules will however change from July 1st, when almost all coronavirus measures will be relaxed – making it another incentive for the national side to progress further through the tournament. 

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”