Austria is one of the European countries reporting high numbers of COVID infections every day. The old continent has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and the nations are imposing restrictions and vaccinations as measures that the leaders hope to stop the spread of the virus.
Austria even reimposed a full COVID lockdown and announced a mandatory vaccine mandate for its entire population. At least the latter measure is seen as beneficial, as even the neighboring country Germany was considering following suit. Chancellor Angela Merkel even announced major restrictions in the country for those who don’t accept to get vaccinated for the coronavirus.
Ten more days for Austria’s COVID lockdown
Reuters reveals that Austria’s parliament has chosen to extend the full COVID lockdown of the country by ten more days, and the move was widely expected. This means that the total duration of the lockdown goes up to 20 days. Austria’s government stated that no further extends will be applied.
One of the reasons for Austria’s high number of COVID infections is believed to be the low rate of vaccinations in the country. Austria has 67% of its population vaccinated against the virus, as Our World in Data reveals. That places the country among those from Western Europe that have the lowest vaccination rates.
Austria even become one of the first countries in the entire world that impose mandatory COVID vaccines, and they’ll take effect starting February 2022. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg declared at the time, as quoted by the Independent:
We have not managed to get enough unvaccinated people to get vaccinated,
For a long time, it was consensus in the country that a vaccine mandate is not necessary, but we have to face reality.
The way the Austrian authorities are tackling the pandemic will continue to upset a lot of people, which means that the country will continue to be dealing with new waves of protests.