Nationwide lockdown ordered in Austria for the unvaccinated

The Austrian government has ordered a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people in a bid to slow the fast spread of coronavirus in the country.

he move means that unvaccinated individuals older than 12 will be banned from leaving their homes from midnight on Sunday, except for basic activities such as working, food shopping, going for a walk – or getting jabbed.

Authorities are concerned that hospital staff will no longer be able to handle the growing influx of Covid patients.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told reporters in Vienna on Sunday: “It’s our job as the government of Austria to protect the people.

“Therefore we decided that starting Monday… there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated.”

The lockdown is understood to affect about two million people in the Alpine country of 8.9 million.

It does not apply to children under 12 because they cannot yet officially get vaccinated.

The lockdown will initially last for 10 days and police have been asked to check people outside to make sure they are vaccinated, Mr Schallenberg said.

Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe, with only around 65% of the total population fully vaccinated.

In recent weeks, the country has faced a worrying trend in infections. The country reported 11,552 new cases on Sunday, while a week ago there were 8,554 new infections.

The seven-day infection rate stands at 775.5 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

In comparison, the rate is at 289 in neighbouring Germany, which has already sounded the alarm over the rising numbers.

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