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Austria to impose new lockdown, make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory

Austria will impose another nationwide lockdown starting on Monday and make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory starting February 1, Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg said on Friday.

Austria will impose another nationwide lockdown starting on Monday and make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory starting February 1, Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg said on Friday.

The country is suffering from a severe fourth wave, with the seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants at 1,000, according to the most recent available data.

Administrative penalties would be imposed for violations of the mandatory vaccination rule, Schallenberg said. Details of the regulation are to be hammered out in the coming weeks.

He said that a new lockdown would “hurt enormously,” but that it was necessary. “We don’t want a fifth wave, we don’t want a sixth and seventh wave,” he said.

The lockdown would be assessed after 10 days and last a maximum of 20 days, he added.

People will only be allowed to leave their homes for urgent shopping or errands, to go to work, or for outdoor exercise. Pubs and most shops will close.

All parents have been asked not to send their children to classes if possible. However, schools will remain open for families without childcare options.

From December 13 at the latest, the lockdown will be over for those vaccinated against the virus or recovered, Schallenberg said, adding that restrictions for the unvaccinated would remain in place.

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