Attack on health: Austrian chancellor slams un-jabbed, declares lockdown
- Austria will enter into a strict lockdown from Monday
- The country has also made vaccination mandatory from February
- Entry curbs to Austria have been made stricter
Austria on Friday decided to impose a lockdown and make vaccinations mandatory, thereby becoming the first European Union country to take such drastic steps to fight the recent surge in coronavirus infections. Vaccinations in Austria will be mandatory from February 1 and the lockdown will take effect from Monday. The lockdown call will be reevaluated after 10 days, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said.
Addressing the media, Schallenberg said, “Despite months of persuasion, we have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated.” Sharply criticising those who refused to get vaccinated, the Austrian chancellor called them an “attack on the health systems”.
Lockdowns in Austria will be stringent as people will not be allowed to venture out of their homes except for shopping for essentials and exercising. Austria imposed a lockdown of the unvaccinated earlier this week, setting an example among European nations and further prodding its citizenry to get jabbed.
Austria recorded 15,000 new COVD-19 cases, a record for the country with a population of nine million people. While vaccinations have been a problem in the Alpine nation, the recent lockdown of the unvaccinated has made more people inclined to receive the jab.
While Austria’s vaccination rate is slightly lower than other European nations, it is significantly better than developing nations. Austria has vaccinated nearly 66% of its population. Europe, as a whole, is witnessing a surge in infections. Austria’s neighbour Hungary has also imposed a mask mandate.
Authorities in Austria have also imposed stringent entry restrictions owning to surge in infections and to prevent hospitals from overcrowding. The new, stringent entry restrictions will come into effect from November 22 and people will no longer be allowed to enter the country with rapid antigen test results. Only PCR test results will be allowed from then on. PCR tests will remain valid for only 72 hours.