Austria orders lockdown for those not vaccinated against COVID-19 – Community News
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Austria orders lockdown for those not vaccinated against COVID-19

A person in an FFP2 mask sits on St. Stephen’s Square amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

VIENNA, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Austria will place millions of people who have not been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in lockdown from Monday to face a rise in infections to record levels, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Sunday.

Europe has once again become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting some governments to consider reintroducing unpopular lockdowns. read more

About 65% of the Austrian population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in Western Europe. Many Austrians are skeptical of vaccines, a stance encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party, the third largest in parliament.

As the Netherlands tackles the rise in infections by imposing a partial lockdown that applies to all, Austria’s conservative-led government says it wants to avoid imposing further restrictions on those who have been fully vaccinated. read more

“We need to increase vaccination coverage. It is embarrassingly low,” Schallenberg told a press conference announcing the new measure after a video call with the governors of Austria’s nine provinces.

Those aged 12 and under will be exempt from the lockdown, where unvaccinated people can only leave their homes for a limited number of reasons, such as going to work or shopping for essentials, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein told the news conference. , adding that it will initially last 10 days.

Many officials, including Schallenberg’s Conservative Party and the police, have expressed doubts that such a lockdown can be properly enforced, given that it only affects part of the population. However, Schallenberg and Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said there will be thorough police checks.

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

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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