Austria imposes a national lockout on unvaccinated people

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In Germany, the federal government and state leaders are discussing blackmail measures. Germany has already classified Austria as a high-risk area, which means that people from there are quarantined, which is a blow to the Austrian winter tourism industry.

The Netherlands, which is also dealing with an increase in infections, has introduced a partial closure that applies to everyone, but the Austrian Conservative-led government says it wants to avoid imposing additional restrictions on those who are fully vaccinated.

The closure in Austria will initially take 10 days and police had been asked to check vaccination certificates for people seen outside, Schallenberg said, adding that more police would be patrolled during the lockout.

Unvaccinated can receive a fine of up to € 1,450 ($ 2,262) if they do not comply with the restrictions.

Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe: only about 65% of the total population is fully vaccinated. Many Austrians are skeptical about vaccines, and this view is encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party, the third largest in Parliament.

The country reported 11,552 new cases on Sunday; a week ago, 8554 new daily infections were diagnosed.

The seven-day infection rate is 775.5 new cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, in neighboring Germany the rate is 289, which has also already alerted the rise in figures.

Schallenberg pointed out that while the seven-day infection rate for vaccinees has declined in recent days, the same number is on the rise for non-vaccinators.

“The number of unvaccinated people is over 1,700, while the number of vaccinated people is 383,” the chancellor said.

Schallenberg also urged vaccinees to get a booster vaccine and said that otherwise “we will never get out of this vicious circle.”

AP, Reuters

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