Austria becomes the first European country to make vaccinations against Covid 19 mandatory and enters its third nationwide lockdown in for at least 10 days from Monday, the Chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, announced.
The government said it was preparing the legal basis for An general vaccine mandate to in to come effect from February 1, with exemptions for the ones die unable to receive jab on medical grounds.
From what age people will be required to vaccinate has not yet been determined, the government said.
The ones die refuse to be vaccinated are likely to: face administrative fines, die can be converted in An prison penalty if the fine cannot be recovered.
“For a long time the consensus was in this country was not us want a vaccine mandate,” Schallenberg said after a meeting with the heads of the alpine republic of stands. “Despite of of months of conviction, we are not there in managed to convince enough people be vaccinated”.
Tightening up vaccine pass controls and testing requirements had begun to make a difference, but it “hasn’t convinced enough,” Schallenberg said, who took over as chancellor last month from his party ally Sebastian Kurz. “We do not want a fifth wave, not us want a sixth of a seventh wave.”
Austria endures the most powerful golf of covid, with authorities on Friday reporting 990 cases per 100,000 people over seven days. It registered another 15,809 new infections on Friday.
The country has the lowest vaccination rate rate in Western Europe, with 66% of to be population fully vaccinated. About the past two weeks, the conservative vegetable coalition government tried to avoid a collapse of the health system by making it mandatory for burgers to show proof of vaccination of recovery in restaurants and bars, and then announce a “Lockdown for the unvaccinated”.
The national lockdown is expected last until December 12, but can be re-evaluated after 10 days if the Covid situation has improved. Nurseries and schools remain open, but wearing is mandatory in classrooms and students can choose to study remotely without a doctor’s note.
Lockdown rules would end for vaccinated people from December 12 but stay in place for die who declined take the shot.
That who have their second jab wants in the future only considered fully immunized for seven in instead of nine months, and can receive their booster injection after four months.
The former Chancellor Kurz, who resigned amid corruption investigation in half October had assured that the public in July that “for everybody who has been vaccinated, is the pandemic now over”.
“New one wants a lockdown, it’s a crude instrument,” said the Austrian green health minister, Wolfgang Muckstein, on Friday. “But it’s the most effective tool we have available”.
In particular the planned general vaccine mandate came under heavy criticism from opposition benches in parliament. “From this day on, Austria is a dictatorship,” Herbert Kickl said. of right-wing extremist freedom party, die has argued for scientifically unproven alternative treatments against coronavirus infections, such as the antiparasite drug ivermectin.
While countries including Italy and France have made vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for health workers, Austria becomes the first country in Europe to apply such a requirement for society as a whole. Outside the continent, Indonesia, Micronesia and Turkmenistan have vaccine mandates for adults.
Unlike other federalized countries like Germany, Austria has a centralized national database of vaccination, die the government could check against the ones die are registered as alive in the country to determine who hasn’t had a shot yet.
Mandatory vaccination is not unprecedented in Austria. In 1948 the post-war government made vaccination against smallpox required by law. The world in 1980 Health Organization declared smallpox to be the first disease has been overcome by vaccination.
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