Supermarkets in the Austrian capital appear to be fully stocked with all products including disinfectant and plastic gloves despite limitations in other European countries.
As of tomorrow, supermarkets will also reportedly be handing out free face masks that the government has ordered them to pay for, and there is little sign of panic in the country where despite almost 10,000 confirmed cases of infection, there have been just 108 deaths, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University statistics.
A recent test by local media reportedly found no shortages of any items including those that are in short supply in the UK including toilet paper, pasta, tinned tomatoes and the above-named sanitation articles.
Vienna-based newspaper “Heute” said that it was business as usual for most shops, with special offers still being made to attract people to their local supermarket. They reportedly even found disinfectant on sale at a discount price.
The paper noticed that the only difference was that, if anything, there were less customers than usual.
They found that in the fruit and veg section there was a large supply of all the usual fresh produce, and there was a plentiful supply of products in shortfall outside of Austria that are in demand because of their longer shelf life like rice and pasta and tinned tomatoes.
Some supermarkets were having special offers allowing people to buy plants that they could put into window boxes to keep at home, and the only obvious change was that many had introduced glass partitions at the point where the customer meets the cashier to reduce the spread of infection.
However staff at the time of the test were not wearing face masks and neither were customers, although as of tomorrow (Wednesday) Austria wants supermarkets to make face masks available for free to customers and to request everybody use them. The cost of the face masks needs to be paid by the supermarket chains.
The new law regarding face masks was announced by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Announcing the move he said: “I realise that many people want to hear that the quarantine restrictions are being eased, but the truth is that we are in a marathon (not a sprint).”
He said there were many people who criticised the quarantine restrictions but added that they were working, although not fast enough, and that was why the extra rules on face masks were being introduced.
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