The Austrian government are about to lockdown unvaccinated people after record case numbers were reported across the country. The province of Upper Austria will bring in the restrictions from Monday if it can get approval from the federal government to do so. Salzburg is also planning new measures against the pandemic.
A national lockdown for unvaccinated people has been called “probably inevitable” by Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. He said two-thirds of people should not suffer because others were hesitant.
The Upper Austria province borders Germany and the Czech Republic and it has a population of 1.5 million. It also has the country’s highest level of infection and the lowest vaccination rate. Across the country, a record 11,975 Covid-19 infections were reported in the last 24 hours. The coronavirus commission has said it is a threat that ”must be taken seriously.”
Austria has already banned people without vaccination from restaurants, cinemas, hairdressers and more, but this next step will be hard to enforce. The chancellor has said the lockdown will mean the unvaccinated won’t be able to leave home unless it is for essential reasons like going to work, buying food or for exercise.
The country’s far-right opposition party Freedom Party has been campaigning with vaccine scepticism which has found many in agreement. These latest measures may increase that number. Austria has an incidence rate far higher than neighbouring Germany where their Health Minister has already warned of a pandemic through the unvaccinated. Germany’s jab rate is 63.7% currently and the country already has a two-tier system in regards to entry to certain venues.
The Netherlands is also having a resurgence of cases with 16,364 cases in the 24 hours before Thursday and hospital admissions on the up. The Dutch Outbreak Team has recommended a two-week partial lockdown, cancelling public events and shutting cinemas and theatres, although the caretaker government will only decide on Friday 12 November whether to put these measures in place.
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