The Austrian government has announced that it will establish a “lockdown” for all unvaccinated people from next Monday (8). As a result, those who refuse to be immunized will not be able to access restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, sporting activities and cultural events.
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg justified the measure by the sharp increase in new Covid-19 cases in the country, which recorded 9,388 infections in the past 24 hours. “When we get in the car, we put on our seat belt, the anti-virus vaccine is our belt,” the politician said.
The measure states that those who have not been vaccinated will only be able to leave the house in exceptional cases, such as making essential purchases or going to work. People who cannot be vaccinated, such as children under 12 years of age, for whom there is no approved vaccine yet, are not included in the rule.
This group will not be able to ski and will not have access to the lifts. In addition, unvaccinated people will not be able to access hospitals and nursing homes as visitors.
The government is also making mandatory use of anti-virus masks in stores, museums and libraries. In Austria, the vaccination campaign has been slow for some time, with only 63.1% of the population vaccinated.
Schallenberg quoted Pope Francis as describing vaccination as an “act of love.” The Minister of Health, Wolfgang Mikstein, has called on Austrians to get the flu vaccinated as well.
“We are facing a wave and we have to be prepared,” he said, sharply criticizing “politicians who spread false news.”
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