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In the initial day of a nationwide lockdown, those who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be monitored by an officer from the police.
Austria has an additional lockdown on Monday for those who haven’t had vaccinations against COVID-19.
Anyone aged 12 years or older who are eligible to receive the vaccine must remain in their homes for a minimum of 10 days if they haven’t yet gotten a shot.
The move is meant to reduce the worst surge in infections that the country has faced during the pandemic, which has surpassed the previous record of November. According to The New York Times, this is the first nationwide lockdown targeting people who have not been vaccinated.
“We need to increase the vaccination rate. It’s shockingly low,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg spoke at a news conference on Sunday.
The announcement was made following an audio call with Austria’s governors from the nine provinces, according to The Guardian . Lockdowns in two provinces -two provinces – Upper Austria and Salzburg -were announced on Friday, and on Sunday, the move was extended to the whole country.
Beginning today, people who aren’t able to prove that they’re fully vaccinated or immune from a previous infection are required to stay at home. They can leave for essential reasons, such as traveling to work, seeing an acupuncturist, purchasing groceries or getting vaccinations.
Officials stated that police patrols would enforce these rules and that anyone who violates them could be punished with fines of up to 1,450 Euros or $1,660 according to the Associated Press.
Austria is reporting an average of more than 10,000 daily cases with 11,552 new cases reported on Sunday, which is a significant rise from 8,554 daily infections a week ago according to the AP reported.
According to Reuters, approximately 65% of the population is fully vaccination-free. This is among the lowest rates in the European Union.
The lockdown measures are meant to keep around 2 million unvaccinated Austrians at home while cases increase. The move comes just a week after officials announced that businesses will be required to check customers to verify their vaccination or immunity.
The New York Times reported that a crowd protested the new restrictions at the Vienna Chancellery on Sunday. Health officials noted that while COVID-19-related cases overall were going up, infections among vaccinated residents were declining.
“We don’t take this decision lightly,” Schallenberg said.
The New York Times: “Austria’s new lockdown places the unvaccinated in their homes.”
The Guardian: Austria orders nationwide lockdown of those who aren’t fully vaccine-free against Covid.
The Associated Press: Austria orders a nationwide lockdown on those who are not vaccinated.
Reuters: “Austria enters hard-to-enforce COVID-19 lockdown for the unvaccinated.”
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