The Chancellor of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, announced today that a full lockdown of the country would begin on Monday, November 22 and last for an initial 10 days.
Schallenberg added that the COVID-19 restrictions could be extended if infection rates did not start to fall, but insisted the lockdown would not exceed 21 days.
Schallenberg’s announcement came after a meeting of nine state governors, two of whom had already vowed to introduce full lockdowns in their regions on Monday, in the western province of Tyrol.
New measures concern the entire population of the country. The government of Austria has already imposed a partial lockdown on the unvaccinated in an effort to reduce hospitalization rates amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
When the full lockdown ends, restrictions will remain in place for the unvaccinated.
Austrian government has also ordered the entire country’s population to get vaccinated from February 1 in an attempt to tackle the new raging wave of COVID-19 infections.
“We haven’t been able to convince enough people to vaccinate. For too long, I and others have assumed that you can convince people to get vaccinated,” the Chancellor said, giving his rationale for the nationwide vaccination mandate.
Schallenberg lamented the political forces, radical opposition, and fake news fighting against vaccination.
Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe, with only 65% inoculated against the deadly virus according to data from Johns Hopkins university.
Infection rates are almost among the highest on the continent. The seven-day incidence rate stands at 971.5 per 100,000 people.