ZURICH (Reuters) – Three Austrian teachers who persistently refused to wear particle filtering masks to protect against the spread of coronavirus have been fired, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, a customer who refused to wear a mask has been banned for five years from the Migros supermarket chain.
Coronavirus fatigue is rising in both countries with protests taking place against restrictions which have seen shops and restaurants closed, and mandatory mask wearing introduced.
One teacher in each of the districts of Freistadt, Voecklabruck and in the city of Wels in upper Austria were dismissed after talks with the authorities failed to resolve the situation, the paper said.
“There were many efforts to convince him to comply with the applicable hygiene and preventive measures – but they were all in vain,” the education directorate told the newspaper about the Freistadt teacher.
Three other teachers in Freistadt, Braunau and Steyr, were persuaded the wear the masks, and have kept their jobs, the newspaper said.
Since January 25, Austria has tightened its rules to require FFP2 masks – which filter particles – be worn where previously cotton masks were suitable.
In Switzerland, where mask wearing is compulsory indoors, a self-proclaimed ‘coronavirus rebel’ tried to enter a supermarket in Lucerne without wearing a mask.
He repeatedly refused to wear a mask, and was eventually arrested by the police. The man, who has not been named, has also been banned from Migros-owned shops like SportXX and Micasa furniture stores.
“If a customer shows himself unreasonable, becomes abusive, threatens and disrupts operations, Migros Lucerne reserves the right to issue a ban,” a spokesperson told Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes.