Austria imposes lockdown for unvaccinated
Austria decided in September to restrict the public activities of unvaccinated people once intensive care units reported more than 30 percent of beds full with COVID-19 patients. As of Monday, anyone 12 or older who has not been vaccinated or who has not recently had COVID-19 cannot leave their homes except for essential travel such as grocery shopping, work, school, or getting vaccinated. The 10-day partial lockdown affects about 2 million people, roughly one-third of Austria’s population. Police units will patrol public areas and conduct spot checks and impose fines for violations.
What is the status of the pandemic in Austria? Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg called the nation’s 65 percent vaccination rate “shamefully low.” Austria’s infection rate stands at 894.3 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days as of Monday. Healthcare leaders said hospitals will be full within two weeks if restrictions are not enforced. The far-right Freedom Party is planning to protest the lockdown, accusing the government of imprisoning 2 million people.
Dig deeper: Read medical correspondent Charles Horton’s report on whether COVID-19 herd immunity is within reach.
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