Austria reinstates MASK MANDATES, claiming surge in omicron subvariant “cases”
03/22/2022 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Austria brought back mask mandates two weeks after they were rescinded following a surge in Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases caused by the BA2 subvariant of the B11529 omicron strain. confirmed the return of mask mandates in a March 19 tweet. It wrote that Vienna is set to "reintroduce mandatory [masking] in most indoor settings, just two weeks after the requirement was abolished.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer declared on March 5 that face masks would only remain necessary while on public transport and inside essential shops and pharmacies, explaining that it seeks "to protect vulnerable groups." His March 5 announcement also included a lifting of a 12 a.m. curfew on restaurants and bars and a closure order for night clubs. (Related: Austria announces end of COVID mandates beginning March 5.)

Prior to the March 5 declaration, Nehammer said that Austrians would no longer be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recent recovery. Beginning Feb. 19, a negative COVID-19 test would suffice as a requirement to go to restaurants or bars, attend events or participate in various activities.

Vienna blamed a spike in cases caused by the BA2 subvariant of omicron for the return of mask mandates. The subvariant dubbed "stealth omicron" is more infectious than the earlier BA1 subvariant, but less dangerous than BA1 when it comes to hospitalizations and deaths. Despite this, Austrian health authorities led by Health Minister Johannes Rauch have brought back COVID-19 restrictions.

Aside from keeping mask mandates in place, Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig has also announced new restrictions on hospitals. His new edict mandates that hospitals will only allow one one patient to visit at a time. Contrary to the national government's move to drop mask mandates, the mayor of the Austrian capital refused to do so.


Paul Joseph Watson of Summit News gave his two cents on the matter: "There you were, thinking the technocrats had finally let it go. Maybe someone should explain to them that there is absolutely zero correlation between the lifting of lockdown rules and a spike in COVID-19 cases, or any real-world evidence that masks work to reduce infection levels."

Making Americans mask up again could prove challenging

Meanwhile, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci remarked that it would be tough to reinstate mask mandates in the United States. He projected that the BA2 subvariant of omicron would cause an "increase" in cases, but ruled out a possibility of a surge.

"The bottom line is: We likely will see an uptick in cases as we've seen in the European countries. Hopefully, we won't see a surge," said the infectious disease expert.

According to Fauci, BA2 is 50 to 60 percent more transmissible than the earlier BA1 strain – which could potentially make it the dominant variant in the United States. But he pointed out that the "stealth omicron" does not appear to cause more severe COVID-19 cases or bypass both natural and vaccine-induced immunity.

"It does have an increased transmission capability. However, when you look at the cases, they do not appear to be more severe and they do not evade immune responses," he explained.

Given the potential surge of COVID-19 cases from the BA2 omicron subvariant, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Americans might see mask-wearing orders returning in their locations. But he admitted that this could prove to be an uphill battle.

"From what I know about human nature, which I think is pretty much a lot, people are kind of done with COVID-19. You can go ahead and continue to tiptoe toward normality which is what we're doing. But at the same time, be aware that you may have to reverse," said Fauci.

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Watch the Sky News report about the BA2 omicron subvariant below.

This video is from the Be Children of Light channel on

More related stories:

States with mask mandates have higher COVID-19 case rates than Florida, which never had a statewide mask mandate.

73% of Americans are already immune to COVID omicron variant, according to computer model.

Fauci: Unvaccinated to blame if vaccinated are forced to mask again.

Sources include:

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