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Austria Imposes National Lockdown For People Who Aren't Vaccinated

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Austria Imposes National Lockdown For People Who Aren't Vaccinated

The Austrian government has ordered a nationwide lockdown for all unvaccinated people.

It comes as part of an effort to slow down the spread of Covid-19, with all unvaccinated citizens over the age of 12 - around two million people - banned from leaving their homes.

According to reports, those affected will only be allowed to leave for a limited number of specific reason, including work, essential shopping, exercise or to get jabbed.

Speaking about the move, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told reporters in Vienna on Sunday (14 November) that it has to be done in order to protect the population.

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He said: "It's our job as the government of Austria to protect the people.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"Therefore we decided that starting Monday... there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated."

Adding: "We have to raise the vaccination quota. Help us break this fourth wave."

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The lockdown is initially a temporary measure set to last 10 days, with police directed to check on people who are outside to make sure they are permitted to do so.

Those unvaccinated people found to be outside without a valid reason could face a fine of up to 1,450 euros (£1,200).

Children under the age of 12 are not affected because they cannot yet get officially vaccinated.

Concerns have been growing in the country over recent weeks over rising infection rates.

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Austria has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in western Europe, with just 65 percent of people having received both jabs.

Today, the country reported 11,552 new cases, up from 8,554 new infections a week ago, while the seven-day infection rate stands at 775.5 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

And Mr Schallenberg pointed out the stark contrast between infection rates for those who have received the vaccine and those who haven't.

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He said: "The rate for the unvaccinated is at over 1,700, while for the vaccinated it is at 383."

In neighbouring Germany, the overall infection rate is just 289, and it's feared the rising case numbers in Austria could see hospitals overwhelmed.

Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said: "We all have one goal: to protect the intensive care units."

The order comes after crowds in the Netherlands clashed with the authorities during a protest over the return of a partial lockdown.

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Footage showed Dutch police blasting about 200 people in The Hague with water in a bid to disperse demonstrators on Friday (12 November).

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: government, covid, Science, World News, Europe, Pandemic, Austria, Politics, Health

Dominic Smithers
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