Austria follows through on unvaccinated lockdown threat

Austria will put a lockdown in place for the unvaccinated in two regions where COVID-19 cases are surging starting on Monday, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg stated during a press conference Friday.

Unvaccinated people in the Austrian regions of Upper Austria and in Salzburg will only be permitted to leave home for specific reasons, such as grocery shopping or doctor’s appointments, per ABC News.

Schallenberg said he and other leaders in Austria will reconvene Sunday to finalize the measures and their implementation next week, according to ABC News.

“The aim is very clear: that we give the green light this Sunday for a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated,” Schallenberg said, according to a Reuters report.

Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said at a separate press conference, also on Friday, that the government will mandate vaccination for health care workers, per ABC News. He did not say when the requirement would be implemented.

Last week, Austria put restrictions in place forbidding the unvaccinated from going to several recreational venues, such as salons, restaurants, theaters and bars. 

“A lockdown for the unvaccinated means one cannot leave one’s home unless one is going to work, [essential] shopping, stretching one’s legs — namely exactly what we all had to suffer through in 2020,” Schallenberg said Thursday. 

He added that the country’s 65 percent vaccination rate was “shamefully low,” before hinting at the lockdown for the unvaccinated, which he would announce the following day.

On Friday, Austria reported detecting more than 12,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the prior 24 hours, according to data from the World Health Organization

Tags Alexander Schallenberg austria Austria COVID-19 Lockdown vaccine mandate vienna

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