The Austrian government announced that it would determine a “lockdown” for all illiterate people from next Monday (8). As a result, those who refuse vaccination will no longer have access to restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, sporting activities and cultural events.
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg justified the measure with a sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases in the country, which recorded 9,388 infections in the past 24 hours. “When we get in the car, we put on seat belts, the anti-Covid vaccine is our belt,” said the politician.
The measure provides that people who are not vaccinated will be able to leave home only in exceptional cases, such as to make essential purchases or go to work. People who cannot be vaccinated, such as children under 12, for whom there is no approved vaccine yet, are not covered by the rule.
This group will not be able to ski and will no longer have access to the lifts. In addition, non-vaccinated people will not be able to access hospitals and nursing homes as visitors.
The government also mandates the mandatory use of anti-COVID masks in shops, museums and libraries. In Austria, vaccination campaigns have been slow for some time, with only 63.1% of the population being vaccinated.
Schalenberg quoted Pope Francis as calling vaccination an “act of love”. The health minister, Wolfgang Mückstein, asked Austrians to get vaccinated against the flu as well.
“We are facing a wave and we need to be prepared,” he said, strongly criticizing “politicians spreading false news”.