Austria reimposes full lockdown, plans to make COVID vaccines compulsory

Austria has announced a full coronavirus lockdown, becoming the first country in western Europe to do so this autumn. 

The lockdown is to start this coming Monday, Die Presse reported. Officials announced the new restrictions on Friday.

It will end at midnight on December 13 for vaccinated people, the officials said.

The lockdown for unvaccinated people would continue beyond December 13, they said.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said the country's vaccination rate was to blame. Around two-thirds of Austria's population is fully vaccinated, making the country one of the least vaccinated in Europe, Reuters reported.

"We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated," he said, according to Reuters. "It hurts that such measures still have to be taken."

The officials also announced that the whole population must be vaccinated by February 1, 2022.

It is not clear yet how that would be implemented and enforced.

Austria is seeing a coronavirus surge. Earlier this week the country imposed a lockdown for unvaccinated people, but the high cases counts continued.

Other European countries have announced new restrictions as virus numbers climb, but have not announced full lockdowns like Austria now has.


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