The mask regulations are confusing for many © dpa/Tobias Hase

Mask Regulations in Vienna: Retail Staff Say They Are Not “Deputy Sheriffs”

A planned regulation that will task retail workers with examining customers’ vaccination status and masks in the future is met with criticism from companies and unions. “How are employees supposed to know what is going on?” said GPA union member Anita Alkovich on Austrian national Oe1 radio on Wednesday. “They are not deputy sheriffs” who could monitor people who were critical of the corona measures.

“This is not their job,” said Palkovich. “The work pressure is enormous, and shops are looking for workers everywhere, which means the current personnel has to carry the weight.” The mask regulations in Vienna were “barely understandable” at this point, said the GPA secretary.

Employes Unhappy Too

Employers were also displeased by the planned regulation. Workers could not also start asking customers for their health data, on top of regular responsibilities, said trade association head Rainer Will. “This is unrealistic.”

Austrian shopping center operators also complained. The ACSP (Austrian Council of Shopping Places) “emphasized” that they were not capable of controlling the mask regulations in Vienna “in large numbers.” Around 2.3 million people visit Austria’s shopping centers per day, they said.

The shopping centers were often led by small teams which were sometimes not even on location every day. “On the one hand, the shopping center management has enough to do, like the employees, and on the other hand, they are not trained for these kinds of controls,” said the ACSP in a statement on Wednesday. The operators also criticized that they had never been invited to talks on practice-oriented implementations of corona measures.

Reported in cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency / APA.