Austria to Conduct Lockdowns for Unvaccinated Citizens

Austria’s government is expected to impose a lockdown on persons who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus on Sunday, as daily infections have reached record highs.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg did not specify when the lockdown would go into force, but the two provinces worst impacted by the outbreak, Upper Austria and Salzburg, have stated they will implement it on Monday.

The chancellor rejected the idea of imposing a statewide lockdown on all Austrians, telling reporters on Friday that two-thirds of the people who had agreed to the inoculation would not be compelled to display “solidarity” with the unvaccinated. He did, however, warn that further limits may be tightened.

According to Schallenberg, if Covid-19 instances continue to grow, unvaccinated persons will face greater confinement limitations in accordance with the government’s gradual strategy. Once coronavirus patients take 30% of ICU beds in hospitals, such a plan would force unvaccinated individuals on lockdown.

According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, around 65 percent of Austria’s population is completely vaccinated. Austria now has the second-lowest immunization rate in Western Europe, after only Liechtenstein.

Meanwhile, official government figures suggest that 760 persons in Austria were infected with Covid in the past week. Upper Austria, the least-vaccinated province, has already declared intentions to impose a lockdown on unvaccinated persons beginning Monday, after 1,193 out of 100,000 people tested positive in the last week. 

Unvaccinated persons will be barred from entering non-essential public areas such as restaurants and movie theaters, as well as from using services that require close contact, such as beauty salons and barbers.

Vaccine resistance has been a problem in Austria’s attempt to use the Covid vaccination. The newly established Menschen-Freiheit-Grundrechte (People-Freedom-Rights) party, comprised of Covid vaccination doubters, gained three seats in the Upper Austrian regional parliament in September.

Meanwhile, the right-wing Freedom Party, Austria’s third-largest political party, has openly denounced the Covid vaccination.

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