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19th Nov 2021

Austria to make Covid vaccines compulsory as nation plunged into full lockdown

Kieran Galpin


Austria is one of many countries implementing strategies to combat the virus

Austria is set to impose a national Lockdown on Monday as Covid-19 cases skyrocket. This news comes amid plans to mandate vaccines from February, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday.

Last week, Austria saw a record number of 11,975 Covid cases in just 24 hours. Then, on November 11, Schallenberg announced plans for a targeted lockdown while also stating there should be no “solidarity” with the unvaccinated when it comes to implementing restrictions.

“I don’t see why two-thirds of the population should lose their freedom because another third hesitates,” Chancellor Schallenberg said when asked why a national lockdown was not to be implemented.

Despite his initial hesitance, Schallenberg has now decided to Lockdown the entire country for a minimum of 10 days, reports CNN.

“We don’t want a fifth wave,” he told governors.

This news comes as Germany also decided to lockdown its unvaccinated population. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on November 17 that it was “very worrying” while also blaming unvaccinated people for the surge in cases.

In the areas of Germany most affected by the pandemic, recreational services and events have been restricted. Merkel also said that the federal government would consider a request from regional governments asking for legislative support to mandate vaccines for care and hospital staff.

“To get through the winter, we will see drastic measures that have not been taken before,” said finance minister and chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz.

Such moves by select countries have agitated other nations, with protests outside the Austrian Embassy in Paris against Vienna’s lockdown of the unvaccinated.

Slovakia is also considering a ban on unvaccinated citizens entering non-essential venues like shopping malls, gyms, pools, hotels and mass public gatherings.

As Europe struggles to grapple with the pandemic, and with Christmas fast approaching, Covid seems to be once again a threat to festive celebrations.

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