Austria orders containment of unvaccinated people from Monday

The measure to stem the unprecedented number of new cases of contamination in Austria marks an unprecedented step. Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian Chancellor, announced, Sunday, November 14, the entry into force on Monday of a lockdown for people who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered from Covid-19.

” The situation is serious (…). We do not take this measure with a light heart but unfortunately it is necessary ”, Schallenberg said at a press conference in Vienna.

This decision is the result of the wave of contamination, as spectacular as it is rapid, which is currently affecting all of Central Europe and extending as far as Germany. These are all countries where vaccination rates remain low or just around the European Union average.

65% of the population fully vaccinated

Concretely, the people concerned will not have the right to leave their home except for shopping, sports or for medical care. The measure applies from the age of 12. Unannounced checks will be carried out.

The government will assess the effect of these restrictions in ten days, said Sunday the Minister of Health, Wolfgang Mückstein, calling on the refractory to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Parliament must approve the measure in the evening, a priori a simple formality.

About 65% of the population received a full vaccination schedule in Austria, which is lower than the European average of 67% and far from countries like Spain (79%) or France (75%). Mr. Schallenberg described this rate as “Shamefully low” when he reported on this containment project on Friday.

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More than 13,000 new cases were recorded on Saturday in this country of 9.8 million inhabitants, highest figure since the start of the epidemic. Corollary: the number of patients hospitalized in intensive care has sharply increased. On Thursday, the government’s scientific commission sounded the alarm by ensuring that intensive care services could, at this rate, be overwhelmed around the “November 24” and asked “Immediate additional measures”.

Since November 8, unvaccinated Austrians could already no longer access restaurants, hairdressers and cultural activities without showing a health pass attesting to vaccination or recovery dating less than six months. the “Containment of the unvaccinated” will limit their travel even more, since they will no longer be able to go to non-essential shops or traditional Christmas markets. They will still be able to go to work, with tests, or to the supermarket, and also keep the right to go out. “To ventilate physically and mentally”, which has always been possible during previous confinements in Austria, where there has never been a kilometer rule or exit certificate.

The World with AFP

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