Austria orders lockdown for those not vaccinated against COVID-19

An individual sporting an FFP2 masks sits at St. Stephen’s sq. amid the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

  • Austria has one among W.Europe’s lowest vaccination charges
  • Infections have surged, pressure on ICU beds is rising
  • Govt desires to keep away from further restrictions on the vaccinated
  • A 3rd of inhabitants can go away house in just some circumstances

VIENNA, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Austria is inserting tens of millions of individuals not totally vaccinated towards the coronavirus in lockdown as of Monday to take care of a surge in infections to report ranges and the rising pressure on intensive-care items, the federal government mentioned on Sunday.

Europe is the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic once more, prompting some governments to contemplate re-imposing unpopular lockdowns. Austria has one of many continent’s highest an infection charges, with a seven-day incidence of 815 per 100,000 individuals. read more

“We’re not taking this step calmly however it’s essential,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg informed a information convention saying the brand new measure, underneath which the unvaccinated can solely go away their houses for a restricted variety of causes like going to work or purchasing for necessities.

Roughly 65% of Austria’s inhabitants is totally vaccinated towards COVID-19, one of many lowest charges in western Europe. Many Austrians are sceptical about vaccines, a view inspired by the far-right Freedom Social gathering, the third largest in parliament.

The measures on Monday will prolong these introduced in per week in the past which banned the unvaccinated from locations together with eating places, accommodations, theatres and ski lifts. read more

Whereas the Netherlands is coping with its surge in circumstances by imposing a partial lockdown that applies to all, Austria’s conservative-led authorities desires to keep away from imposing additional restrictions on those that are totally vaccinated. read more

“In actuality we now have informed one third of the inhabitants: you’ll not go away your residence anymore aside from for sure causes. That may be a large discount in contacts between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated,” Schallenberg mentioned.

In Germany, the federal authorities and leaders of Germany’s 16 states are on account of meet subsequent week to debate tightening measures. Germany has already categorised Austria as a high-risk space, that means individuals arriving from there have to enter quarantine, a blow to Austria’s winter tourism trade. read more

Focused measures have lately been launched in Australia, the place 83% of individuals aged 16 and above have been totally inoculated. Some states have mandated vaccinations for some occupations and barred the unvaccinated from actions corresponding to eating out, resulting in demonstrations.

Singapore, the place 85% of the inhabitants has been totally vaccinated, has mentioned those that remained unvaccinated by alternative must foot their medical payments from subsequent month. read more

Austria’s lockdown, which doesn’t apply to the under-12s or individuals who have lately recovered from COVID-19, will initially final 10 days, Well being Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein mentioned.

Many officers, together with inside Schallenberg’s conservative occasion and the police, have expressed doubts this lockdown could be correctly enforced because it applies to solely a part of the inhabitants. Inside Minister Karl Nehammer mentioned there shall be thorough police checks.

($1 = 0.8734 euros)

Reporting by Francois Murphy;
Enhancing by Andrew Cawthorne and Elaine Hardcastle

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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