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22 Jul 2020 | 02:13 PM UTC

Austria: Authorities to make face masks compulsory in shops from July 24 /update 17

Austria News Alert

Austria to make face masks compulsory in shops from July 24; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/22/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/22/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Vienna). COUNTRY/REGION Austria

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Austrian authorities announced on Tuesday, July 21, that face masks will be made compulsory in shops, banks, and post offices nationwide from Friday, July 24, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Also, if a member of a religious community has visited a location abroad that is considered to be of high risk, all members of the community must also wear a face mask. If a member of a religious community tests positive for the virus, places of worship will also be ordered to close. In addition to these restrictions, the country will also reinforce border checks for travelers arriving from Slovenia and Hungary, which had previously been relaxed. Those arriving in Austria from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, and North Macedonia must present a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. The decision comes following a rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide.

As of Wednesday, July 22, there have been 19,929 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 711 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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