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Multiple arrests: 35,000 protest lockdown in Vienna

Multiple arrests
35,000 protest against lockdown in Vienna

A new nationwide lockdown will come into effect on Monday, including for those who have been vaccinated. Many Austrians protest against this. Tens of thousands of people take part in a demonstration. Some throw bottles at police officers.

In Austria tens of thousands protested against the impending tightening of the corona. In Vienna, according to the police, around 35,000 people took part in demonstrations against the lockdown and the compulsory vaccination. The protest march paralyzed large parts of the traffic in downtown Vienna in the afternoon. “The mood is heated,” said a police spokesman. There were several arrests. Some participants threw bottles at the police officers after being watched by the media.

The participants criticized the exit restrictions that came into force on Monday and the corona imprint that will apply from 2022 as compulsory measures. “Freedom” was chanted over and over again. Many demonstrators did not wear FFP2 masks and thus violated the requirements. The police were on duty with 1,300 officers. The right-wing FPÖ, among others, had called for the protests. Their boss Herbert Kickl, who himself suffered from Corona, spoke up with a video message. In it he called for the broadest possible resistance. He had already sharply criticized the government’s strategy and spoke of a “dictatorship” in Austria.

According to information from the Austrian news agency APA, well-known neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremist people mingled with the demonstrators. The Austrian government had announced a lockdown for everyone from Monday due to the massive fourth corona wave. While the exit restrictions for vaccinated and convalescent people are expected to end on December 13, the lockdown for unvaccinated people is unlimited.

Vaccination numbers are already quadrupling

In addition, Austria will be the first country in the EU to introduce a compulsory corona vaccination in February 2022. The vaccination rate is now around 66 percent. The willingness to give protective injections has increased significantly in the past few weeks. The vaccination numbers have quadrupled compared to the summer. The reasons for this are the 3G rule in the workplace and the 2G rule, which excludes unvaccinated people from large parts of public life.

On Saturday, more than 15,000 new corona infections were counted again within 24 hours in Austria. Taking into account the number of inhabitants, the value is almost three times as high as in Germany. However, the situation in the clinics remained largely stable, at least within a day.

In view of the imminent exit restrictions, many people took the opportunity to go shopping again. The city centers and the shopping centers were well attended. From November 22nd, people in Austria are only allowed to leave their homes for compelling reasons. All cultural and leisure facilities as well as the bars are closing. It is the fourth lockdown in Austria.

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