Austria will enter another nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and make vaccinations mandatory from February, Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg announced on Friday, becoming one of the few countries in the world to take drastic measures to make shots mandatory as It struggles to promote stable vaccination rates and contain record levels of COVID-19.
Austria’s new lockdown is set to begin on Monday, Schellenberg said, and will last a maximum of 20 days.
Austria is the first European country to reimpose a full national lockdown since spring and the move comes days after a lockdown targeted at unvaccinated people.
Vaccination against Covid-19 will also be mandatory from February 1, Schellenberg said, making Austria one of the only countries in the world and the first in Europe to introduce a national mandate.
Schalenberg said The country has to “face reality”, acknowledging that recent measures are insufficient to boost vaccination rates amid the country’s sky-high coronavirus rates.
After the widespread national lockdown ends, the unvaccinated people will remain in force, Schellenberg said,