Austria to impose lockdown on millions of not vaccinated people

Austria to impose lockdown on millions of not vaccinated people as Covid cases surge

November 15, 2021: -Austria is expected to impose lockdown restrictions on millions of unvaccinated people in the coming days.

Austria Press Agency reported that Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told a press conference on Friday that his government wanted to give such measures the “green light.” Lawmakers will meet over the weekend to discuss the move, according to the news agency.

The chancellor rejected the notion of a nationwide lockdown being applied to all of Austria’s citizens, which tells reporters on Friday that two-thirds of the population accepted the immunization would not be forced to show “solidarity” with the unvaccinated. Although, he did caution that there may be some tightening of other restrictions.

Schallenberg said last month that if Covid-19 cases continued to rise, unvaccinated people would face new lockdown restrictions in line with the government’s incremental plan. That strategy would place unvaccinated people under lockdown once coronavirus patients occupy 30% of ICU beds in hospitals.

Covid patients currently take up 20% of ICU beds in Austria, according to Reuters, and that level is rising fast.

The country saw 67,148 new cases of Covid-19 over the past seven days — a new record weekly high, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

“We have just days until we have to introduce a lockdown for unvaccinated people,” Schallenberg told a press conference on Thursday.

The warning came after Schallenberg told reporters during a visit to the city of Bregenz on Thursday that he did not see “why two-thirds should lose their freedom because one-third is dithering.”

“For me, it is clear that there should be no lockdown for the vaccinated out of solidarity for the unvaccinated,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

On Thursday, the chancellor also said it was “probably inevitable” that Austria would have to impose a lockdown for those not vaccinated, adding an “uncomfortable” winter and Christmas ahead for the unvaccinated, local media outlets reported.

Schallenberg went on to dub Austria’s vaccination rate as “shamefully low,” according to Reuters.

Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows that around 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated. That gives Austria the second-lowest vaccination rate in Western Europe after Liechtenstein.

Unvaccinated people will be banned from visiting non-essential public places like restaurants and movie theaters and will not be permitted to use services that require close contacts, such as beauty salons and barbers.

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Austria to impose lockdown on millions of not vaccinated people