Following the raging coronary epidemic in Austria, the government announced today (Friday) a new closure that will be imposed on all residents of the country starting this coming Monday. According to reports this morning, the closure will include the closure of restaurants and cafes, non-essential shops, hairdressers and other businesses for 20 days. In addition, the government has announced that it will impose a vaccine obligation on the entire population, an unprecedented move in Europe, starting this coming February “at the latest”.
The Austrian government is struggling to cope with the current wave of the corona plague. The morbidity rate is close to 16,000 cases a day, and in hospitals in various areas there are loads that cause concern about the collapse of the health system. Only on Monday this week was Austria the first in Europe to impose a kind of “closure” on the unvaccinated, preventing them from leaving the house for non-necessary purposes, but now it is significantly tightening the restrictions.
The vaccination obligation for the entire population is a legally controversial step, which is probably why the state has set a distant deadline (February 2022) to carry it out. However, the new closure announced will be imposed as early as midnight on Sunday, and is the first on the continent where governments and politicians have promised in recent months that there will be no more closures due to the corona plague.
The decision was made in consultation with the federal government with the governments of the county states, some of which suffer from an astronomical morbidity rate. Upper Austria and Salzburg announced yesterday that if the country does not enter a general closure, they themselves will declare a closure in their territory. Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg blamed the unvaccinated for the current closure and said that “despite months of efforts” the government has failed to persuade them and is therefore required to impose a closure “in order to protect us all”.
He added that the closure would end automatically on December 13, but that in another ten days the government would re-examine the situation. “This is not an easy decision for us, but we must make it in light of the circumstances,” he said. In addition to the closure of shops and restaurants, it will be mandatory to wear the FFP2 mask in all closed places, including workplaces. Education in schools and kindergartens will continue as usual, for now.