Following a record increase in cases, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced that those that haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be forced into lockdown starting on Monday.
The past week saw the number of infections hitting new records while the country faces a below average vaccination rate.
Only around 65% of the country’s 9 million population have been fully vaccinated. The current European Union (EU) average is 67%.
During his announcement, Schallenberg explained that people over the age of 12 will be forced into a hard lockdown. They’ll only be allowed to leave the house for buying essential items, exercising or going to a doctor or hospital.
Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said that the lockdown is to be enforced with random spot checks for the next 10 days. After that, it will be reviewed.
Another big announcement was that from Monday, the country will be the first EU member to offer vaccinations to children between the ages of five and 11. The vaccination for children that fall into this age group will take place at a vaccination centre in the country’s capital, Vienna.
The city’s municipality said that soon after registration opened on Saturday, more than 5,000 children were already registered to get their vaccines.
Image credit: The Indian Express