Austria lifts restrictions on vaccinations

VIENNA (AP), Austria lifted lockdown restrictions on vaccinated persons in most of the country on Sunday.

Austria lifts restrictions on vaccinations

VIENNA (AP), Austria lifted lockdown restrictions on vaccinated persons in most of the country on Sunday.

Esat Zorkun
Esat Zorkun
12 December 2021 Sunday 11:10
1823 Reads
Austria lifts restrictions on vaccinations

This comes three weeks after it imposed strict rules to counter a rising tide of coronavirus infection.

These rules vary from one region to the next. However, they allow theaters, museums, and other entertainment venues to reopen on Sunday. On Monday, shops will open.

Some areas will reopen restaurants and hotels on Sunday while others will wait until later this month. Restaurants and hotels will have to reopen by 11 p.m. in all cases. Masks will also be required for public transport and inside shops and public spaces.

Last week, Chancellor Karl Nehammer called the move "opening with seatbelt" and gave each region of Austria the power to adjust restrictions according to their local circumstances.

The lockdown restrictions will continue to apply to unvaccinated persons. They should stay at home for any other than a few specific reasons like shopping, visiting the doctor, or exercising.

New cases have dropped in Austria since the lockdown began. Friday's report from Austria showed that there were 367.5 new infections per 100,000 people, a decrease of 1,102.4 reported on November 1st.

Hospitalizations due to the virus have not dropped as much as new cases. The number of coronavirus patients currently in ICUs across the country is 567, which is slightly less than the 572 who were admitted on the first day.

Officials from Austria have stressed the need for high vaccination rates to combat the virus. Currently, 67.7% are fully vaccinated. This is a low rate in Western Europe. To increase pressure on people not vaccinated, the government has taken measures.

A nationwide mandate for vaccinations will be in effect starting February 14th for all residents. Non-compliance could result in fines up to 3,600 Euros (roughly $4,000).

Tens of thousands have protested in the past weeks across the country against both the lockdown restrictions as well as the imminent vaccine mandate. According to police, 44,000 people attended a Saturday protest in Vienna, the capital city.

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