“I am sorry to take such drastic measures,” said Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on the state television ORF on Friday to the vaccinated.
Residents will be allowed to leave their homes only in certain cases, such as going out for groceries, playing sports or visiting a doctor. Schools and kindergartens will remain open, but authorities have asked parents to leave their children at home as much as possible. Office workers are recommended to work remotely. Christmas markets were canceled and restaurants were closed.
Compulsory vaccinations in Austria
After the lockdown expires, the restrictions will still apply to unvaccinated people. In addition, the government announced that vaccination against Covid-19 will be mandatory from February 2022. The decisions were protested on Saturday in the streets of the country’s capital, Vienna, where approximately 40,000 people demonstrated. people, including representatives of the party and extreme right-wing circles, the local police said.
As noted by AP, the lockdown began in Austria at a time when the average daily number of deaths from SARS-CoV-2 has tripled in recent weeks, and some hospitals are alarming that their intensive care units are on the verge of maximum occupancy.
According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, less than 66 percent in Austria. residents are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, the AP notes. According to the same source, a record number of 15,809 new coronavirus infections were recorded since the start of the pandemic.
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