From Sunday it will be illegal to conceal your face or make it unrecognisable in public. The ban covers burqas and niqabs, and will ‘technically apply to all face-concealing headwear, including surgical masks, fancy dress and balaclavas worn in certain circumstances‘. Failure to comply with the law can lead to a fine of €150 (£132). Newsweek explores some of the caveats that have had to be introduced – no scarves over faces in summer, but fine in winter, and face covering are OK for ‘cultural events’ such as a Krampus outfit for the Perchtenlauf parade. Newsweek also suggests that East Asian tourists who wear face masks for health reasons might need to have the law explained to them.

This graphic from the Austrian Interior Ministry explains what is and is not permitted.

  1. Erlaubt: Allowed
  2. Erlaubt unter bestimmten Umständen: Allowed under certain circumstances
  3. Verboten: Forbidden

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

From 1 October 2017, it’s illegal in Austria to wear in a public place any clothing or object which conceals the face and makes facial features unrecognisable. Failure to comply with this law is punishable by an on-the-spot fine of up to €150. You could also be required to attend a police station if you refuse to uncover your face once asked, or if your identity is impossible to determine. The law applies to both residents and visitors. See the website of the Austrian Interior Ministry for more information on the law and a list of exemptions.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at:

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