In Austria, about two million people who have not been properly vaccinated against Covid-19 have been placed on lockdown due to an increase in infections.
“We are not taking this move lightly,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg stated, “but it is unfortunately unavoidable.”
Unvaccinated people will be allowed to leave the house only for specific reasons, such as working or purchasing food.
Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, with only about 65 percent of the population fully immunised.
Meanwhile, the infection rate after seven days is over 800 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the region.
Overall, Europe has once again become the pandemic’s worst-affected region, with some nations imposing restrictions and issuing warnings about rising cases.
Despite health authorities appealing for laws like required facial coverings in crowded and enclosed locations to be reinstated to avoid a winter crisis, the UK, which has one of the highest Covid infection rates, has failed to implement restrictions.
The measures, which were implemented on Monday in Austria in response to mounting pressure on the country’s hospitals, will initially continue for ten days.
Exemptions will be given to children under the age of 12 and persons who have recently recovered from the infection.
Hundreds of people demonstrated outside the chancellery in Vienna’s capital over the weekend, brandishing placards that said, “Our bodies, our freedom to choose.”
One female demonstrator stated that she was there “to fight for my rights.” “What is going on here is completely discriminatory,” she remarked.
Prof Eva Schernhammer of the Medical University of Vienna, on the other hand, thought the steps were necessary, citing the overcrowding in hospital intensive care units as an example. “It’s already expected that we’ll exceed the limit in two weeks,” she said.
Unvaccinated people were already prohibited from going to restaurants, hair salons, and movie theatres, but they will now be required to stay at home.