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Austria to lift lockdown on the unvaccinated next week

Austria will end one of the toughest coronavirus policies in Europe when it lifts a two-month lockdown on unvaccinated residents next Monday.

Vienna, 26 January 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Austria will end one of the toughest coronavirus policies in Europe when it lifts a two-month lockdown on unvaccinated residents next Monday.

Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Wednesday that an expert panel advising the government believed the lockdown no longer made sense given Austria’s current Covid-19 situation.

While a high number of new infections continues to be logged daily, the risk of intensive care units being overwhelmed has greatly abated, the panel said.

Therefore, people without a vaccination against the coronavirus can leave their homes from Monday without a good reason, the chancellor said.

But they will still be barred from large parts of public life, including restaurants and non-essential retail.

Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said on Wednesday the number of new infections within 24 hours rose to a record of more than 30,000 cases. The seven-day incidence in Austria is over 2,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Experts are forecasting 40,000 daily cases in the next two weeks, Nehammer said.

As soon as the peak of Austria’s fifth wave has been reached, a decision will be made on the further lifting of restrictions, including the controversial 10 pm curfew for bars and restaurants.

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