Austria passes law banning women from wearing full face coverings

AUSTRIA (AP) – Austria’s parliament has passed legislation to outlaw garments that fully cover the face of women, such as the burqa.

The provision, passed on Tuesday night, is part of a larger integration law, work on which was not blocked despite recent instability in the ruling coalition that means parliamentary elections have been pulled ahead a year to October.

Starting in October, women wearing garment in public that cover their face will be subject to fines of 150 Euro ($A225).

It is not clear how many people would be affected by the measure which has received criticism from both political extremes, in some cases for not being tough enough.

Other parts of the legislative package forbid distributing the Quran and requires all migrants to Austria to participate in an integration year during which they would learn German and ethics.

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