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Monday, December 6, 2021

Coronavirus in Austria. Lockdown – what restrictions?

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Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus from midnight on Sunday to Monday, a lockdown will begin in Austria, which will last a maximum of 20 days. During this time, Austrians will only be allowed to leave their homes in a few specific cases. It is recommended to work remotely if possible. – It will be a really restrictive, nationwide lockdown – said TVN24 reporter Przemysław Kaleta from Vienna.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday that a nationwide lockdown will begin next Monday. This is due to the constantly worsening pandemic situation. The national isolation is expected to last a maximum of 20 days, and after 10 days the authorities will evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken. This is the first lockdown in Western Europe during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic – noted TVN24 reporter Przemysław Kaleta. As he added, it will be “a really restrictive nationwide lockdown.”

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Lockdown in Austria. What restrictions?

Austrians will only be allowed to leave their homes on certain occasions, such as basic shopping, going to the doctor, or for recreational purposes such as walking or exercising in the fresh air. It is recommended to select remote operating mode if possible.

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Lockdown in Austria since MondayPAP / EPA / CHRISTIAN BRUNA

Classes in schools will continue to be held stationary. In educational establishments of all levels, indoor use of the mask remains mandatory, and tests are regularly carried out there for the presence of the coronavirus.

The police informed that around 1,300 officers will control compliance with the restrictions in various parts of the country.

Compulsory vaccinations from February

In addition, the government announced that vaccination against COVID-19 will be mandatory from February 2022. Currently, less than 66 percent of Austria’s 8.9 million inhabitants are fully vaccinated, according to government figures.

The epidemic situation in Austria

According to data from Sunday, there has been a pandemic in Austria since the beginning of the pandemic 1 056 613 coronavirus infections – Fr. 14 042 more than the day before. Altogether died 12 015 people, of which 22 in the last 24 hours. He recovered 895 154 patients. Per million inhabitants have been recorded so far 116 398 infections (for comparison – in Poland it is 88 528 cases) and 1324 deaths (in Poland 2,139).

The Austrian Chancellor stressed during Friday’s press conference that the new measures were necessary because “too many have shown unreliability”. “This is a sad but necessary consequence of the dramatic increase in the number of infections recently,” said Schallenberg, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein, and Tyrolean government chief Guenther Platter and the mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, at a joint conference in Pertisau am Achensee in Tirol.

Vaccination against COVID-19 in AustriaPAP / EPA / CHRISTIAN BRUNA

The chancellor stressed that stricter measures taken in early November, such as restricting access to various public places for people who are not vaccinated or passed COVID-19 earlier than six months ago, “increased the willingness to vaccinate, but not sufficiently.” Due to the dramatic infection rate, many regions with the lowest vaccination rates have maximum occupancy in the ICU.

Alexander Schallenberg apologized to all those vaccinated for the restrictions introduced, saying it was unfair that they had to suffer from the blockage, although they had used all means at their disposal to protect themselves and others from infection and to stop transmission of the virus.

Protests of lockdown opponents

Due to the lockdown, on Saturday to the streets Vienna has about 30,000 opponents of the restrictions. The demonstrators are mainly supporters of the right-wing populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ).

The daily Die Welt reported on an incident in Upper Austria in mid-November. According to the police, three young Linz residents planned to set the officer on fire. They confessed to setting a police car on fire and to a plan to “lure a policeman into an ambush by provocation, then pour gasoline on him and set him on fire.”

Austria. Protest of opponents of anti-epidemic restrictionsEPA / CHRISTIAN BRUNA

Investigators explained that “they perceive law enforcement officials as their enemies” because the police control compliance with pandemic restrictions. – We assume that they really planned it, but failed to implement the plan. That is why they limited themselves to setting a police car on fire, explained a police spokesman from Upper Austria.

Upper Austria is the federal state with the lowest vaccination rate and one of the highest infection rates in the Alpine region, emphasizes Die Welt.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / CHRISTIAN BRUNA



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