The Austrian government has imposed a fresh lockdown for residents who have not been vaccinated against the virus following the rise of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The 10-day lockdown went into effect early today (Monday). Only people under 12 and older can leave their homes if they are doing something essential or those who are going to health centers for vaccination purposes.
“We are worried over the growth of new infections,” said Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. “Hospitals will soon be overwhelmed if new cases continue to rise.”
I”t’s our job as the government to protect our people, he said, adding “therefore we decided that starting Monday … there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated people. Extra police officers will be out checking to make sure people on the streets are vaccinated.”
Anyone found in violation of the lockdown order could be fined up to €1,450 ($1,660), Schallenberg added.
Austria has one of Western Europe’s lowest vaccination rates, with only 65 percent of the population fully vaccinated.
Around 11,552 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday, up from 8,554 last week.
“The rate for the unvaccinated is at over 1,700, while for the vaccinated it is at 383,” Schallenberg said, calling on those who have been fully vaccinated to get their booster shots, or else “we will never get out of this vicious circle.”
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