Austria will be closed again from Monday. This is because the corona figures are too high and the vaccination figures too low. A lockdown for unvaccinated people was already introduced last week, but in the end, it did not go far enough, according to Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg.
So a national lockdown will start on Monday.
It is the fourth time since the pandemic outbreak that Austria has decided to introduce a lockdown. Only supermarkets, drugstores and pharmacies are allowed to remain open. In addition, catering establishments must be closed for the next ten days. The schools will remain open for those who need them to provide shelter, but mouth masks must, in any case, be worn. Austrians are only allowed to leave their home for shopping, exercise, work, or a doctor’s visit.
Schallenberg clarifies that the lockdown will last for ten days and then be re-evaluated. After that, it can be extended by a maximum of ten days. After that period, the measures will expire for those who have been vaccinated or cured, the famous 2G rule.
The measures will apply longer for non-vaccinated people. It is not yet clear when an end date has been set for them. According to Austrian media, this will probably be linked to the vaccination rate. Because Austria also wants to do something about it.
Currently, 66 percent of Austrians are vaccinated. (For comparison: in our country, that is 75 percent.) That is why Schallenberg announced that vaccination will be mandatory from 1 February 2022. Administrative sanctions will be imposed for violations. He calls compulsory vaccination the only “way out”.
On Saturday, 35,000 people took to the streets in the capital Vienna to protest against the mandatory vaccination. The mood was grim, and the police had to arrest several amok makers.