Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, Friday announced he is reinstating mandatory mask regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after cases spiked in the country this week, especially in Vienna.
At a news conference Friday, Kurz announced, beginning Monday, masks will be mandatory again in all public areas, like supermarkets and other retail shops, government buildings and schools. Masks have remained mandatory on public transit.
Kurz said he doesn't expect the situation to improve in coming weeks and "we are going to need these measures at least during winter time.” He cautioned other measures could become necessary and the goal was to prevent a lockdown.
The government has also limited the number of people who can attend private gatherings and public indoor events.
The Austrian health ministry says the nation has seen a total of 32,136 total cases with 5,879 active cases, including 580 reported on Friday.
The government has now classified seven regions as "yellow" under its current coronavirus traffic-light system.