Austria announces lockdown for people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19
Approximately 65 per cent of Austria's almost nine million people are vaccinated, which is lower than the EU average of 67 per cent, but daily spikes in illnesses have reached new highs this week.
Austria will implement a lockdown for persons who have not been immunised against Covid-19, a first in the EU. The Alpine country battles a record spike in cases, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Sunday. Approximately 65 per cent of Austria's almost nine million people are vaccinated, which is lower than the EU average of 67 per cent, but daily spikes in illnesses have reached new highs this week. Other European countries are considering controversial Covid restrictions, with the Netherlands opting for Western Europe's first partial lockdown of the winter.
According to Austria's lockdown, people over the age of 12 who have not been vaccinated or who cannot demonstrate that they have recently recovered from Covid will not be permitted to leave the house save for required supplies, exercise, or medical treatment.
In a news conference, Schallenberg stated that the situation is complex and that they are not taking this move lightly, but it is sadly unavoidable. The lockdowns will be enforced with random spot inspections over the next ten days, and police patrols will be increased. According to the government, it will then be evaluated. Those who violate the regulations face a 500-euro ($570) charge; those who fail to present proof of vaccination or have recently recovered face a three-fold fine. The shutdown was authorised by the parliament's top committee late on Sunday. Schallenberg urged people who had not yet been immunised to be vaccinated at his news conference.
The administration declared on Friday that vaccines for health professionals would become mandatory. Unvaccinated people are already barred from entering restaurants, hotels, and cultural institutions unless they can demonstrate that they have recently recovered from the disease.
Vienna is toughening up the requirements, even more, requiring PCR testing in addition to being vaccinated or recovered to attend gatherings with more than 25 people or to go to pubs and restaurants in the evening. On Monday, the capital will also become the first area in the EU to give vaccinations to children aged five to eleven at a vaccination centre.