New legislation that prohibits the wearing of full-face veils, including the niqab and burqa, in public spaces has gone into effect on Sunday, October 1. Individuals who break the law could face a EUR 150 (USD 232) fine.
Only an estimated 150 Austrian residents wear the full-face veil. Tourism officials fear the announcement will reduce tourism from the region, as the country receives many visitors from the Gulf states each year..
The legislation, which was adopted June 9, is part of a reform package which also includes the mandatory signature of an “integration contract” to be signed by refugees and asylum seekers. These contracts will last for one year and include the mandatory attendance to language courses, civic education, and preparation for professional integration. A failure to sign the contract could led to a cut in diverse aid given by the state.
Individuals in Austria are advised to adhere to all local regulations.