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Austria, vaccination obligation since February and lockdown for everyone

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In Austria, from February 1, 2022, the vaccination obligation will be imposed on people who have not received any dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 by that day. This was announced by the Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (OeVP) speaking from Innsbruck to the entire nation. Austria becomes the first EU country to impose the vaccine.

Austria from Monday will activate the lockdown measure, also for the vaccinated, to stem the fourth wave of Covid-19 as much as possible. As Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said, “it is the only option”. The lockdown will last a maximum of 20 days and from 13 December onwards the lockdown will only affect vaccinated people.

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The governor of the Land Tyrol Guenther Platter announced that “the vaccination obligation will start from 1 February: only in this way will we get out of the vicious circle”. “Despite months of effort, we haven’t managed to get enough people to get vaccinated,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg regretted. “There are too many political forces that go against us,” he added, speaking of an “attack on the health system”.

The situation linked to the fourth wave of coronavirus is increasingly dramatic, yesterday the new record of people infected since the beginning of the pandemic was communicated, 15,145 in 24 hours. There is a strong contagion in Upper Austria with 3,518 new cases.

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Since February 25, 2020, the day of the first two positives in Austria, people tested positive have exceeded one million (1,011,465). The weekly incidence has risen further, today it is equal to 988.7. Yesterday 55 people died for a total of 11,903 victims since the beginning of the pandemic. Hospitals are in full emergency: in various structures there are no longer places in intensive care and beds are also placed in the corridors. The number of beds occupied in intensive care is 498 and 2,787 in normal wards.

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Meanwhile, in four weeks the incidence of the virus in Germany “has quintupled,” said German Health Minister Jans Spahn. “We are in a phase in which we should not exclude anything.” the minister said. “This is a national emergency, all of Germany is one big outbreak, we have to pull the emergency brake.” The tone of the head of the Robert Koch Institute, the German health institute, Lothar Wieller, is very alarmed, inviting the population to stay at home to stop the frightening wave of covid infections that has hit the country. According to Wieler, hospitals in many regions are at their limit and the increase in vaccination rates is insufficient to contain the pandemic.

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