Austria’s chancellor said Austria has days before ordering millions of unvaccinated people to stay at home, in a rare move that underscores European leaders’ growing discontent with those not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told reporters on Friday that the government should give the “green light” for the move at the end of this week.
“The goal is clear: on Sunday we want to give the green light to impose a national blockade on the unvaccinated,” Schallenberg told a news conference in Innsbruck.
Earlier, he described the country’s vaccination rate as “shamefully low” and hinted that the measure would be activated within days. “In other states, that rate is much higher — it’s a shame because we have enough vaccines available,” Schallenberg said at a Thursday news conference.
His warning came as a wave of COVID-19 infections sweeps central Europe. A three-week partial blockade was announced in the Netherlands on Friday nightHealth authorities have reported a rapid increase in cases in the country.
“Tonight we present a very disturbing message with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures,” Dutch interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised address, ordering restaurants, supermarkets and non-essential retailers to close early and impose social measures. turn away. “The virus is everywhere and needs to be fought everywhere.”
Norway also announced new measures on Friday, as residents of the German capital Berlin prepare for new restrictions that will come into effect on Monday.
Under Austria’s plan, agreed in September, unvaccinated Austrians will face a stay-at-home order, with Covid-19 patients occupying 30% of intensive care beds. The current rate is 21%, according to the Austrian Food Safety and Health Agency (AGES), and the spread of infection has rapidly increased that percentage.
Unvaccinated people are already excluded from entertainment venues, restaurants, hairdressers and other areas of public life in Austria. If the new measures take effect, non-vaccinators will be required to stay home, except for some limited reasons; The bases will be supervised by police officers who will conduct spot checks on those outside.
About 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the lowest rates in the European Union.
“It is clear that the current winter will be uncomfortable for non-vaccinators,” Schallenberg warned Thursday. “The blockade of the non-vaccinated means you can’t leave the house unless you go to work, buy necessities, and stretch your legs – which is exactly what we’ve all had to go through in 2020,” he said.
After Schallenberg’s announcement, the governor of the province of Upper Austria, in the northwest of the country, lobbied for the measure to be introduced in his province soon. The area is the hardest-hit in the country, with Stelzer describing the situation in his county as “tragic”.
Schallenberg’s tone summed up the frustration expressed by many European governments towards unvaccinated groups in society as a wave of Covid-19 infections swept the region.
In neighboring Germany, ministers increased their rhetoric toward those who had not been vaccinated. The capital, Berlin, announced, on Wednesday, that it will ban entry to restaurants, bars, gyms, hairdressers and cinemas for people who have not been vaccinated, starting next week.
Vaccination rates vary across Europe but are steadily declining in the eastern continent.
Meanwhile, German authorities warned Thursday that the country was still facing a “very worrying” increase in cases of the Covid-19 virus and advised residents “to urgently cancel or avoid major events if possible, but also reduce all other non-essential contacts.”
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s seven-day infection rate rose to 263.7 cases per 100,000 people — up from 169.9 cases reported a week ago.
Officials in Bavaria, the country’s richest state, declared a state of emergency on Thursday. “The coronavirus epidemic threatens the lives and health of large numbers of people in Bavaria,” a statement from the state prime minister’s office said on Wednesday, adding that “in many hospitals, there are no or very few capacities available.”
The Norwegian government said on Friday it would reinstate “some other national measures” to “reduce infection.” [Covid-19]”Unvaccinated people over the age of 18 who live with someone who has the virus, will be obligated to get tested,” Health Minister Ingfield Kirkul said, adding that the obligation would apply from 17 November.
The government will also advise municipalities to start testing unvaccinated health workers twice a week, with a clear message that they must wear a mask, according to the statement.
For the second week in a row, Europe was the only region in the world where cases and deaths increased in the WHO’s weekly global report.
Between November 1 and November 7, there was a 1% increase in new cases per week, the update said, and just over 3.1 million new cases were reported. The region also recorded a 10% increase in new deaths last week.
(Translated text, read the original text in English Here)
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