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Austria’s lockdown for unvaccinated public comes into force

Austria's lockdown for the unvaccinated came into force on Monday.

Vienna, 15 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Austria’s lockdown for the unvaccinated came into force on Monday.

Citizens who are not vaccinated will only be permitted to leave their homes to shop for essential needs, go to work or visit a doctor. They will also be allowed to go outside for fresh air at any time for the benefit of their physical and mental health.

There will also be spot checks to ensure compliance, with violations punishable by fines of up to 1,450 euros (1,660 dollars).

Figures have been climbing in Austria. Authorities registered more than 11,552 cases on Sunday, and the seven-day incidence per 100,000 people climbed to nearly 850.

The lockdown measures will be in force for an initial period of 10 days. These steps were adopted by the federal and state governments, but Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said individual states are free to put even stricter rules in place.

The capital Vienna has already announced it will put in additional rules to require a PCR test from vaccinated and recovered people going to restaurants at night and at all events attended by more than 25 people.

It is hoped the lockdown will encourage vaccination. Previously tightening up of rules has already seen a jump in the number of people getting jabs. Around 65 percent of the population is currently vaccinated in Austria.

The Austrian government is considering a general night-time curfew. A decision on the move, which would apply to everyone, will come on Wednesday, Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said Sunday evening on broadcaster ORF’s ZiB2 show.

The restriction would apply from 10 pm, he said.

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