Austria has now ended lockdown restrictions but for those who have been vaccinated.
The government of the country imposed three weeks lockdown restriction in order to combat a rising wave of COVID-19 infection which is still very much across the globe right now – thanks to the new Omicron variant – but I digress.
Lockdown regulation isn’t entirely the same across the entire country as it’s based on the severity. However, on Sunday the country is now allowing its citizens back out with businesses, and public places such as theaters, museums, and other cultural/entertainment venues are now allowed to operate once again. Shops are said to follow on Monday.
Even though the government has given the go-ahead, some regions will reportedly have to wait until later on in the month before reopening.
However, the similarities with all cases are the presence of a curfew that will start by 11 P.M for restaurants, and masks will still be required on public transportation as well as public spaces and even in stores.
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Chancellor Karl Nehammer last week called the move an “opening with a seatbelt,” giving each of Austria’s nine regions the ability to loosen or tighten restrictions based on the local situation.
However, those who are yet to be vaccinated will still be subjected to the lockdown restriction and will remain at home for all but a handful of specific reasons such as buying groceries, going to see a doctor, or exercising.
The number of cases has plummeted since the beginning of the new lockdown regulation in the country.
According to the government, the significant decline in the number of cases per 10,000 inhabitants dropped from 1,102.4 to just 367.5 on the first day of the lockdown back in November showed the effect of the regulation.
Hospitalizations due to illnesses from COVID-19 haven’t really dropped as sharply as the new number of cases reported.
As of now, there are reportedly 567 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) across the country which is a slight decrease from the initial 572 number of cases on the first day of the lockdown just this past month of November.
The government of the country continues to push for vaccination and how mandatory it is in order to control the virus.
As of now, about 67.7% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated which is quite low for a country in Western Europe.
With that, the government has decided to increase its pressure on those who are unvaccinated and I guess one of such is locking them indoors while the rest of the society are free to move outside.
The country is enforcing a nationwide vaccine mandate that will go into effect by February for all residents within the age of 14 and above and those who do not comply will face a fine of up to US$4,000 or EU€3,600.
While the government is now taking a strict stance against those who for whatever reasons are yet to be vaccinated, numerous protest has ensued in the country in recent weeks – some against the lockdown and others about the vaccine mandate.
One of the biggest demonstrations was the one in Vienna which reportedly drew about 44,000 people.
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