Vienna extends stricter Covid-19 rules until late October
The Austrian capital Vienna announced on Friday it would keep its stricter rules - most notably the FFP2 mask mandate on public transport - beyond summer.
The City of Vienna has extended the Covid-19 ordinance that provides for, among other things, the FFP2 mask obligation in public transport until October 23rd, daily Der Standard reported.
The regulation was set to expire on August 23rd but was quietly extended, a spokesman for Health City Councillor Peter Hacker (SPÖ) confirmed.
Vienna has stricter regulations when compared to federal standards and other states. Therefore, in the capital, people will continue to need to wear FFP2 masks in all forms of public transport, including its stations, stops, and platforms. The difference in standards leads to strange situations with people travelling to the capital by train being told they must put on masks as they cross the city limit.
The mask is also mandatory in customer areas of pharmacies.
Elderly care and nursing homes
The City of Vienna also has (and will maintain) stricter rules regarding the elderly and nursing homes. In the capital, visitors and companions must show a negative PCR test taken within the last 48 hours.
The PCR test requirement also applies to hospitals and other health facilities.
Only three visitors per patient are allowed daily and employees must present PCR tests at least twice a week and wear FFP2 masks indoors.
No stricter measures in sight
Despite the extended regulation, there are no indications that the government (state or federal) will impose more stringent measures. As Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalisations stabilise at what is considered to be a lower level, the City of Vienna is refraining from bringing more restrictions as summer comes to an end.
Similarly, the federal government has already said that there is no intention to reintroduce a mask requirement at the beginning of September.
When he announced the end of the mask mandate in the country, Health Minister Johannes Rauch said it would be a provisional three-month "mask pause". However, as Austria is currently in a "favourable scenario", no new measures are planned.
Rauch's office said that the government would, instead, react to changes in the corona situation as needed.
Quarantäne - quarantine
Maskenpflicht - mask mandate
Pflegeheime - care homes
Bundesregeln - national rules
Besucher*innen - visitors