Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Austria imposes tough new Covid lockdown just for unvaccinated people
14 November 2021, 14:44
Austria has imposed a nationwide lockdown that only applies to unvaccinated people.
Police have been asked to check those who go outside have had their Covid jab.
Anyone over 12 who has not been vaccinated will not be allowed to leave their homes from midnight on Sunday, and may only head out to work, food shop, go for a walk or to actually get a jab.
Coronavirus is fast spreading through the country and authorities hope the initial 10 day measure will help arrest the rising death toll.
It is feared hospitals will not be able to deal with rising cases.
The lockdown is expected to affect about two million people, out of a population of 8.9 million.
Unvaccinated people who don't abide by lockdown rules could be fined up to 1,450 euros (£1,200).
This critical care worker urges pregnant women to get vaccinated
Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian chancellor, said: "It's our job as the government of Austria to protect the people.
"Therefore we decided that starting Monday... there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated."
He said the seven-day infection rate has fallen for people who got vaccinated but for those without jabs it is rising quickly.
"The rate for the unvaccinated is at over 1,700 [per 100,000 people], while for the vaccinated it is at 383," he said.
Austria's seven-day infection rate is at 775.5 cases for every 100,000 people – while in neighbouring Germany, which is alarmed at its own rise in cases, the rate is 289.
The Alpine state has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe.
Just 65% of people have been fully vaccinated and the country recently leapt from 8,500 cases a week ago to reporting 11,500 on Sunday.