The Austrian government said Wednesday that it won’t start enforcing a vaccine mandate for most adults in mid-March as it had planned.
The mandate for people 18 and over became law in early February, 2 ½ months after the plan was first announced amid a surge of delta-variant cases that sent the country into a since-lifted lockdown.
By then, much of the sense of urgency had disappeared.
The plan was for police in mid-March to start checking people’s vaccination status during traffic stops and checks on coronavirus restrictions. People who can’t produce proof of vaccination would be asked in writing to do so and would be fined up to 600 euros ($653) if they don’t. Fines could reach 3,600 euros if people contest their punishment.
But public broadcaster ORF reported that the government said Wednesday the mandate was being suspended and there is currently no need to enforce it. A commission of experts is to re-evaluate the situation in mid-June.