Austria threatens to lockdown the unvaccinated as Covid cases soar

Austria threatens to lockdown the unvaccinated as Covid cases soar

October 24, 2021

Unvaccinated Austrians have been warned that they could face new lockdown restrictions if Covid cases continue to rise.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Friday night that those who have not been jabbed may only be allowed to leave their homes for certain reasons.

They could also be stopped from entering certain venues – while those that are vaccinated continue everyday life.

Mr Schallenberg announced that if the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive-care units reaches 500 – or 25 percent of the country’s total ICU capacity – entrance into businesses such as restaurants and hotels will be limited to those who are vaccinated or have recovered from the virus.

If the number reaches 600 – or one-third of total ICU capacity – the government plans to impose restrictions meaning unvaccinated people would only be allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons.

Currently, the number of COVID patients in ICUs stands at 220.

The move came after a Friday evening meeting between the Chancellor and state-level leaders to discuss their response to rapidly increasing case numbers.

Mr Schallenberg said: ‘The pandemic is not yet in the rearview mirror.

‘We are about to stumble into a pandemic of the unvaccinated.’

In the past week, Austria has reported 20,408 new cases of the virus, according to health authorities, bringing the 7-day average to 228.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. A week earlier, that figure was at 152.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Although Austria’s government has encouraged citizens to get vaccinated, the effort has slowed in recent months.

Some 65.4% of the total population has received one dose of the vaccine, and 62.2% are fully vaccinated.

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