Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday that a nationwide lockdown will begin next Monday, which will last at least until December 12 and may be extended. In addition, it was announced that vaccination against Covid-19 will be mandatory from February 2022.
The head of government emphasized during the press conference that such measures are necessary because “too many have shown unreliability,” informs the Austrian daily “Kronen Zeitung”.
“This is a sad but necessary consequence of the dramatic increase in the number of infections recently,” said Schallenberg, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein, and Tyrolean government chief Guenther Platter and Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig at a joint conference in Pertisau am Achensee in Tirol.
The chancellor stressed that stricter measures taken in early November, such as restricting access to various public places for people who were not vaccinated or had had Covid-19 earlier than six months ago, “increased the willingness to vaccinate, but not sufficiently.” Due to the dramatic infection rate, many regions with the lowest vaccination rates have maximum occupancy in the ICU.
The nationwide lockdown will apply from Sunday midnight to Monday and is initially expected to last 20 days. After 10 days, an evaluation of the effectiveness of this step will be performed. This means that the blockage will initially last at least until December 12, and for the unvaccinated – also after December 12.
Classes in schools will continue to be held stationary. Indoor use of the mask remains compulsory in schools of all levels. Office workers are recommended to work from home.