Austria To Reimpose Full Lockdown; Mandates Vaccination
- Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full coronavirus lockdown.
- Two-thirds of Austria's population is fully vaccinated.
- Netherlands has reimposed a partial lockdown.
Austria: To combat a new wave of infections, Austria will be the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a full coronavirus lockdown this autumn, requiring vaccination of the entire population by February. Austria has one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 vaccination in Western Europe, with roughly two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated. It has one of the highest infection rates on the continent, with a seven-day infection rate of 991 per 100,000 persons.
On Monday, Austria imposed a lockdown on all unvaccinated people, but infections have continued to hit new records since then. Salzburg and Upper Austria, the two worst-affected provinces, announced on Thursday that they will implement their own lockdowns, putting pressure on the government to do the same across the country.
As the winter months approach, governments across Europe have been forced to consider reimposing unpopular lockdowns. The Netherlands has reintroduced a partial restriction, with bars and restaurants shutting at 8:00 p.m. The issue has also widened a gap between Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg’s conservatives and their left-wing coalition partner, the Greens. Even while Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein advocated for a nighttime curfew, Schallenberg indicated only days ago that he did not want to impose additional restrictions on the unvaccinated.