Puzzles about mask requirement: “Pi times thumb” is not enough

Constitutional experts doubt whether differentiation by location is legal. Health Minister Anschober defends his regulation.

from Raffaela Lindorfer, Elisabeth Holzer

Masks have been mandatory in the grocery, post office and bank for around a week – but not in other shops. This regulation has now been challenged at the Constitutional Court, the Standard reported.

Is the government threatened with a new defeat after the Supreme Court has already overturned the exit restrictions?

A differentiation is permitted in itself, constitutional experts agree. It just has to be justified sufficiently. Heinz Mayer sees no good reason for the unequal treatment, as does the former constitutional judge Rudolf Müller. If it is just a political compromise with the Chamber of Commerce, the VfGH will also overturn this regulation, says Müller.

The government has already said that grocery shopping is inevitable for people at risk – that’s why they are given special protection there. For constitutional lawyer Theo Öhlinger, this justification is “not entirely implausible”, but Bernd-Christian Funk, emphasizes on Saturday in Ö1: “You have to see whether the pi was made thumbs wide or whether there are empirical surveys.”

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) defended the new regulation on Saturday: It is “technically justified and understandable”, and the measure is also “shared by the vast majority of virologists”.

Mask on the Grossglockner

Meanwhile, the masked carpet in Austria got a little bigger on Saturday. Visitors to Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe and the exhibition area on the Hochalpenstraße on the Großglockner now have to wear mouth-nose protection: the district administration of Spittal issued a corresponding regulation on Friday, which already applied on Saturday. The district administrative authority in Wolfsberg, however, has lifted the mask requirement, which applied to popular restaurants on weekends in the evening.

In Velden, however, the mask remains a night companion when going out in the evening. Speaking of Velden: In the case of that woman from Vorarlberg who tested positive for the corona virus, there were no new findings on Saturday. The test results of six people who were in the casino at the same time were pending.


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