The lockdown for the unvaccinated continues.Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Austria’s fourth lockdown of the pandemic ending for those who are vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19.
- Nearly 70% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated.
- After a surge in infections, Austria went into lockdown on November 22, keeping borders open (for business or family travel) but preventing tourists from entering the country, and only allowing citizens to leave their homes for necessary obligations such as getting groceries, exercising, etc.
- The broad regulations will end over the weekend for those who are vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19. Some provinces will fully reopen businesses and cultural centers (e.g. movie theaters) later in the month.
- Austria’s chancellor said the conclusion of the lockdown will be an “opening with a seatbelt,” as protective measures such as mask wearing will still be required on public transportation, indoor areas such as stores and museums, and other public places.
Big Picture: While in lockdown, Austria’s seven-day infection rate dropped by half, though intensive care units continue to see high numbers. Austria’s government has also said COVID-19 vaccines will become mandatory in early 2022, though many have protested. Details on the vaccine mandate will be shared later this week.
Chancellor Nehammer, who was sworn in on Monday, on the end of the lockdown: “I … understand that the people who are affected by it feel aggrieved … At the same time, there is the offer of science, that by getting vaccinated these troubles can be quickly put aside and that then common freedom can actually be lived together.”
Up-to-date Information on the Coronavirus Situation (Austria Official Travel Portal)
Austria Will End Lockdown for Vaccinated People (Bloomberg)
by Jenna Lee,