A ban on people not immune to COVID-19 has come into effect in Austria. Regulations are approved by the government. According to Austrian media estimates, the lockdown could affect about two million people.
The new regulations were announced during Sunday’s conference by Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. The ban on leaving apartments and houses applies to all unvaccinated people over 12 years old. The government also renewed its call for an increase in the number of vaccinations. Schallenberg stressed that “the number of new infections is higher than ever.”
The restrictions went into effect at midnight across the country. “The rules apply to people who have not been vaccinated or convalescent,” Health Minister Wolfgang Mikstein explained. You will be required to have a valid vaccination certificate or a certificate of coronavirus infection in the last 180 days.
Regulations allow for the possibility to go out to see a doctor or visit health centers or vaccination points. It will also be possible to “satisfy basic religious needs”, or go to school or university.
Schallenberg: The rules are strict, but they can be modified
Schallenberg added that states will be able to take more selective measures. He acknowledged that the regulations announced on Sunday were “strict”, but could be modified if necessary. – You have to take bold and resolute action. Insurance is an immediate action. But if the disease continues, more action will need to be taken, also locally, says Mikstein.
The chancellor stressed that “it is very important that security measures are not only adhered to, but are also clearly monitored” and announced “consistent inspections and strict sanctions”. This was confirmed by the head of the Ministry of the Interior, Karl Nahamer, who announced a “strict control network”, also with regard to fraud related to vaccination certificates.
The restrictions will affect nearly two million people
From Monday, the police can screen everyone living in Austria in public places – the Austrian portal ORF adds. The APA estimates that the legislation will “affect about two million people.” The regulation will apply initially until November 24, with the possibility of an extension.
Schallenberg indicated that he refused to introduce mandatory vaccinations, except for medical workers – Mueckstein announced a separate regulation on this issue. The chancellor also stressed that the new regulation does not affect schools and children under the age of 12, and the order to take tests in schools three times a week and to wear masks in secondary schools will remain in place.
Because of the restrictions, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce (WKOe) called for increased subsidies to entrepreneurs, especially for the sectors most affected. “These actions cut about 35 percent of potential customers from specialty stores, so higher sales losses are inevitable,” said Rainer Trevlick, a retail spokesperson.
Meanwhile, experts in Austria are calling for more “contact-reducing” measures to be taken, such as an increased focus on working online where possible. In turn, virologists in an open letter published Friday called for more “consistent action” to increase the rate of vaccination and mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for vaccinators.
Main image source: ENEX
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