Women wearing a full facial veil in public places like universities or courtrooms in Austria will be hit with a fine of up to $225 AUD.
Wearing clothing that covers a woman’s face—such as a burqa or niqab—will be outlawed in Austria after parliament passed the controversial legislation on Tuesday.
The ban, which will come into effect in October, includes fines of 150 euros for women wearing full facial veils, the New York Times reports.
Legal body the Austrian Bar Board slammed the decision, saying the ban contradicted Austria’s constitutional democracy and “the fundamental rights of the freedom of conscience and the freedom of private life”.
According to The Independent, Austria’s own President, Alexander Van der Bellen, has also condemned the ban.
“It is every woman’s right to always dress how she wants,” he told school students in April.
“And it is not only Muslim women, all women can wear a headscarf, and if this real and rampant Islamaphobia continues, there will come a day where we must ask all women to wear a headscarf – all – out of solidarity to those who do it for religious reasons.”
The decision is part of wider legislation in Austria that aims to improve the ‘integration’ of immigrants through German-language lessons and mandatory ‘integration courses’.
On home soil, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejected calls from right-wing politicians to ‘ban the Burqa’.