Austria will 'pause' the mandate for Covid masks on June 1st

Austria to pause mandatory use of FFP2 masks in vital trade from June 1st. Masks still required in healthcare facilities. Vienna to assess situation before renewing mask mandate. Mandatory vaccination law to be suspended indefinitely. Corona exams to no longer be given in schools.

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The Federal Government has announced the next steps in dealing with the remaining coronavirus restrictions in the country.


Could a relaxation of Covid measures in Austria be to blame for the rise in infections?

Beginning June 1st, Austria's federal government announced a pause in the mandatory use of FFP2 masks worn in vital trade, such as public transportation and supermarkets.

Masks would still be required in healthcare facilities, the federal government stated on Tuesday, April 24th, at a media briefing.


"The rate of new COVID infections has been declining for several weeks, as has the number of individuals admitted to hospitals as a result of Covid-19." "This is wonderful news," said Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens).

Since the last significant loosening step in April, the FFP2 requirement was in force only in confined areas of homes and hospitals, public transportation and taxis, customer areas of essential trade, administrative authorities party traffic, and institutions for religious practice outside trade shows.

The masking requirement is paused as the pandemic has not passed yet, It may get reinstated after the summer in Vienna, after the situation is assessed.


Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig announced on social media that the capital's crisis team would meet to assess the situation before deciding whether or not to renew the city's mask mandate.

The Austrian federal government can establish a minimum standard for Covid regulations, but the states must decide whether stricter measures should be maintained. On several occasions, Vienna has stated that it will not follow federal easing, most notably by maintaining a 2G (only vaccinated or recovered people) rule in gastronomy for weeks after such rules were lifted elsewhere in the country.

"Based on the committee's assessment, we will make a decision for Vienna, which we will communicate as soon as possible," said the SP mayor.


Because of a decrease in Covid-19 infections in Austria, Minister of the Constitution Karoline Edtstadler (VP) announced that the mandatory vaccination law will be suspended indefinitely.

During the press conference, she stated, "A focus on the vaccination obligation is currently not justified." Despite this, Edtstadler urged people to take vaccination,  claiming that "the vaccine works."

The minister claimed that she did test positive for Covid-19 even after being three times vaccinated. She claims that the vaccine provides protection against the disease's extreme forms.


Regardless, Rauch urged people to get vaccinated and get a booster shot before the fall season to protect themselves from newer variants of the disease and hospitalization. "To gear up for the winter, refresher campaigns will begin in August," he said.

Corona exams will no longer be given in schools.

All school-based measures are being lifted as the percentage of positive corona results decreases. Beginning in June, there would be no corona tests in schools for students, according to Education Minister Martin Polaschek (VP). A regular PCR test is being used to determine student attendance.

If there is an event of a fresh Covid case in a class, antigen tests will be performed," Polaschek added. The epidemiological scenario will determine whether or not diagnostics capabilities will also be restored in the fall.

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