Austrian region to implement lockdown for unvaccinated

Upper Austria will implement a fully-fledged lockdown for the unvaccinated from Monday (15 November). [EPA-EFE / CHRISTIAN BRUNA]

Upper Austria will implement a fully-fledged lockdown for the unvaccinated from Monday (15 November), it was announced on Thursday (11 November). The announcement comes one day after the state’s governor, Thomas Stelzer, reportedly said on Wednesday that “nobody needs a lockdown.”

“The situation is dramatic. Hence, we are enacting the fifth stage of the phase plan of the federal government and are planning to enact a lockdown for the unvaccinated on Monday,” Stelzer told the Austrian newspaper der Standard.

The move comes after a crisis meeting with health minister Wolfgang Mückstein on Wednesday about the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in the Austrian state.

According to the new measures, unvaccinated people are only allowed to leave their homes to work, buy groceries or for emergencies.

Checking whether the unvaccinated adhere to the measures will be one of the main hurdles to implementing a lockdown. According to the interior ministry, the police will conduct checks on people randomly.

Austria is seeing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections, reporting almost 12,000 new cases on Thursday.

The states of Upper Austria and Salzburg are being hit hardest, with intensive care units close to reaching maximum capacity.

The state of Salzburg might follow a similar path, with the regional government currently debating whether to follow the example of Upper Austria.

Austria has introduced a five-stage plan to tackle the surge of infections in October. On the federal level, the government decided to enact stage four of the plan on Monday, effectively banning all unvaccinated people from entering bars, social, or cultural events. Stage five of the plan will implement a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated.

(Oliver Noyan | EURACTIV.de)

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