Austria re-enters COVID-19 lockdown as circumstances soar once more in Europe | Latest News Table

Austria re-enters COVID-19 lockdown as circumstances soar once more in Europe

Austria has re-entered a full nationwide lockdown in an effort to include rocketing coronavirus infections as a fourth wave grips Europe.

Monday’s transfer within the Alpine nation comes as common each day deaths have tripled in current weeks and hospitals in closely hit states warn that their intensive care items are approaching peak capability.

The lockdown will final no less than 10 days however may lengthen to twenty, officers mentioned. It makes Austria the primary western European nation to reimpose a full shutdown since vaccines grew to become broadly accessible.

Underneath the measures, individuals can solely depart dwelling for particular causes, together with shopping for groceries, going to the physician, or exercising.

Non-essential outlets have closed and Austrians are being requested to do business from home if potential.

Fewer than 66 p.c of Austria’s 8.9 million individuals are absolutely vaccinated, and inoculations have plateaued at one of many lowest charges in Western Europe.

Because it locks down once more, Austria can be introducing a vaccine mandate as of February 1 in a bid to curtail transmission charges, making it the primary European nation to enshrine inoculation towards COVID-19 as a authorized requirement.

The main points of how the mandate will work aren’t but clear, however the authorities has mentioned individuals who don’t adhere to it’s going to face fines.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg apologised to all vaccinated individuals on Friday, saying it was not honest that they needed to endure beneath the renewed lockdown restrictions.

Earlier, Austria had imposed a lockdown solely for unvaccinated individuals however this didn’t sluggish infections sufficient.

File infections

Austria is amongst a number of western European nations the place infections are rising and the place there are issues that vaccination charges are inadequate to carry off a winter surge at hospitals.

On Friday, it reported 15,809 new infections, an all-time excessive.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Vienna, mentioned European governments shall be watching the scenario in Austria intently as they too contemplate reimposing restrictions.

“Throughout Europe, we’re seeing a fourth wave, and there may be concern amongst all European governments,” he mentioned.

“Europe is now taking a look at Austria to see if this lockdown goes to have a profound impact. If it does, then we could also be taking a look at full lockdowns proper throughout Europe.”

The brand new measures, significantly the vaccine mandate, have been met with fierce opposition amongst some.

A Saturday protest in Vienna drew 40,000 individuals, in response to police, together with members of far-right events and teams.

Simmons mentioned some Austrians felt the recent restrictions and shift to obligatory vaccination had been “an excessive amount of for them”.

“The protests on Saturday confirmed how individuals really feel, and individuals are accusing the federal government of authoritarian techniques,” he mentioned.

Demonstrations towards renewed virus restrictions occurred in different European nations over the weekend, together with Belgium, Croatia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

The World Well being Group warned earlier this month that Europe, which is once more the epicentre of the pandemic, may witness 500,000 extra COVID-19 deaths by February except motion is taken to stem the unfold of the virus.

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