Corona pandemic: Austria threatens unvaccinated people with lockdown

Status: 23.10.2021 12:03 p.m.

Austria’s government is increasing the pressure on unvaccinated people in the corona crisis: If the number of Covid patients in intensive care units increases significantly, all unvaccinated people would have to go into a new lockdown.

The Austrian government has decided to tighten the corona measures for unvaccinated people. In the event of a dramatic deterioration in the situation in the intensive care units, unprotected people would have to expect exit restrictions, said Austria’s Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg after a meeting with the Prime Minister.

They are then only allowed to leave their apartments in exceptional cases. According to the information, all who cannot be vaccinated, such as children under twelve years of age, are excluded from this. “We are about to stumble into a pandemic of unprotected unvaccinated people,” said the head of government.

No lockdown for vaccinated and convalescent people

Schallenberg ruled out a lockdown for those who had been vaccinated or recovered. He hoped that these plans would send a signal. There are still too many “hesitants and procrastinators,” said Schallenberg, referring to the vaccination skeptics.

Despite the recent significant increase in the number of new infections, the situation in Austria’s intensive care units is still largely stable. Around 220 intensive care beds are currently occupied by Covid patients. Should this number rise to 600, then the fifth and final stage of the step-by-step plan with massive exit restrictions for unvaccinated people would have been reached. “We are currently at level one, we are looking very far into the future,” said Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein.

The new regulations also provide for restrictions for unvaccinated people in the event that more than 500 corona patients are treated in the intensive care units. Then a 2G rule will come into force in many areas.

The vaccination rate is 62 percent

The seven-day incidence is just under 230 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week. The rate of fully vaccinated people is 62 percent. The government recently decided that from November 1st, many employees in the workplace will have to prove whether they have been vaccinated, regularly tested or have recovered from Covid-19. In the new step-by-step plan, it is now planned that from an occupancy of 400 intensive care beds, only PCR tests are valid as evidence.

The great dynamism of vaccinations in early summer had weakened extremely in the last few weeks. On individual days, only a few thousand doses of corona vaccines were injected.

The right-wing FPÖ fueled the vaccination skepticism considerably. In the most recent state parliament election in Upper Austria, the newly formed party of vaccination critics MFG (people, freedom, basic rights) immediately reached six percent and entered the state parliament.

Austria: Unvaccinated people face lockdowns

Wolfgang Vichtl, ARD Vienna, 23.10.2021 · 12:12

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