Coronavirus: Why you now have to wear a mask in Austrian shops ( – DistanceMasks
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Coronavirus: Why you now have to wear a mask in Austrian shops (

In Austria it is now compulsory to wear basic masks in supermarkets and other food and drug stores.

The idea appears to be gaining support across Europe, although there is uncertainty about how useful the measure will be.

The new measure introduced by the Austrian government involves much simpler masks than this.

When he announced the move, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressed that customers at supermarkets would not be asked to wear medical masks, which are needed for hospital personnel, but basic nose and mouth coverings.

Austria's neighbours, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, have gone even further, making the wearing of face masks compulsory once you leave home.

In Germany, the eastern city of Jena has decided that people should cover their faces when shopping or on public transport.

"For a long time in Austria we were told masks were not needed, that they do not really protect you, and that we should leave the masks we do have to hospital staff.

"Then all of a sudden, it was announced that we should wear masks in supermarkets. I'm not sure where this change of mind comes from, but still, if they ask us to wear them, we'll do it, of course."

Astrid said she had worn a mask on her last shopping trip but it had been a relief to take it off.

"I'm not used to it. It's hard breathing with masks, and it's hot under there."

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