Austria Covid: Nationwide vaccine mandate announced, lockdown reimposed

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Schallenberg stated his authorities would look to impose the nationwide vaccine requirement from February 1. Slightly below 66% of Austria’s whole inhabitants is fully vaccinated towards Covid-19, one of many decrease charges within the European Union, the place cases are surging.

The nationwide lockdown — the primary in Europe this fall — begins Monday and can final for 10 days minimal, and might be prolonged for an extra 10 days, Schallenberg instructed reporters at a information convention in Vienna.

“We do not need a fifth wave. We do not need a sixth and seventh wave. We do not need to have this dialogue subsequent summer season,” Schallenberg stated.

Underneath these measures, which got here into drive on November 15, the unvaccinated had been ordered to remain at dwelling aside from a couple of restricted causes, with the foundations policed by officers finishing up spot checks on those that had been out and about.

Vaccinations are presently really useful for everybody aged 12 and above in Austria. On Monday, a pilot scheme to vaccinate youngsters aged 5 to 11 received underneath method in Vienna, the nationwide capital.

Austria to impose Covid lockdown for the unvaccinated age 12 and older

Requested by CNN from what age the necessary vaccination order would apply, the Austrian Chancellory stated: “Particulars are nonetheless to come back, from what age and when you find yourself thought-about totally vaccinated.”

Austrian Well being Minister Wolfgang Mückstein stated Friday that colleges and kindergartens would stay open throughout the upcoming nationwide lockdown.

However Schallenberg stated it was potential for fogeys to take their youngsters out of faculty in the event that they so wished. “That is at all times a problem, for each household,” he stated. In the course of the first Austrian lockdown, colleges and kindergartens had been closed.

Mückstein additionally urged the sporting of FFP2 masks in all enclosed areas and stated staff may request the choice of working from dwelling the place potential.

As soon as the nationwide lockdown is lifted, lockdown measures will stay in place for unvaccinated Austrians, Mückstein stated, including that the whole lot wanted to be carried out to keep away from a “fifth wave.”

Schallenberg had harsh phrases for anti-vaccination activists as he addressed the information convention Friday, saying they’d acted irresponsibly.

“We’ve got too many political forces on this nation which are preventing towards this [vaccination] vehemently, massively and publicly. That’s irresponsible. That is truly an assault on our well being care system,” he stated.

“And incited by these radical opponents of vaccination, by specious faux information, sadly too many people haven’t been vaccinated. The consequence is overcrowded intensive care items and large human struggling.”

As soon as it goes into impact in February, Austria’s Covid-19 vaccination mandate would be the most stringent measure to regulate the coronavirus by vaccination but seen in Europe.

In Italy, all staff are required to have a “inexperienced go” — a well being certificates that reveals proof of both full vaccination, current restoration from an infection or a adverse check throughout the earlier 48 hours — or danger a high quality and suspension with out pay. Folks should additionally present their “inexperienced go” to enter public locations like theaters and cinemas.

Nonetheless, solely well being care staff are required to be vaccinated.

Italy’s authorities has credited the “inexperienced go” technique with boosting vaccination charges.

Germany's Covid cases hit record high with Merkel warning of 'dramatic' situation

Neighboring Germany additionally introduced plans Thursday to introduce focused Covid-19 restrictions on the unvaccinated so as to deal with document ranges of infections amid its fourth wave of the pandemic.

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel described the nation’s Covid-19 state of affairs as ”dramatic” and ”very worrying” at a information convention Thursday, following a gathering with Germany’s 16 federal state leaders on stricter Covid-19 measures.

Merkel warned that intensive care unit beds had been filling up a lot too shortly, including it was ”excessive time to take motion.”

Talking Friday at a information convention in Berlin, performing Well being Minister Jens Spahn described Germany as being “in a nationwide emergency,” including “we is not going to break this wave with vaccinations alone.”

Requested about the potential for a lockdown for everybody, Spahn instructed reporters ”we’re in a state of affairs the place we can’t rule something out.”

Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s illness and management middle, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), instructed reporters the nation had by no means seen such excessive charges of an infection as now in the entire of the pandemic.

For a twelfth day in a row, Germany has reported document new Covid-19 instances. The RKI on Friday reported 52,970 new instances throughout the previous 24 hours. Greater than 98,000 folks have died on account of coronavirus in Germany, in response to RKI knowledge.

The nation’s present day by day dying price stands between 200 and 300, Wieler stated. Nonetheless, as a result of Germany’s document stage of infections over the previous 12 days, “the dying price is prone to enhance over the approaching days,” he stated.

France can also be experiencing an increase in Covid-19 an infection charges, however French President Emmanuel Macron has stated a lockdown of the unvaccinated is “not crucial” given the nation’s Covid-19 technique.

“The nations who’re locking down the unvaccinated are those that do not have the ‘well being go’ in place,” Macron stated, in an interview with French newspaper La Voix du Nord printed late Thursday.

France’s “well being go” confirms the bearer’s vaccination standing or proof of a adverse Covid check and has ruled entry to all kinds of institutions in France since its introduction in July.

Ireland, which has considered one of Europe’s highest vaccination charges, with 89.1% of individuals over the age of 12 having been immunized, imposed a midnight curfew on bars, eating places and nightclubs from Thursday because the nation faces a contemporary wave of Covid-19 infections.

CNN’s Joseph Ataman contributed to this report.

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