With cold weather setting in across Europe as winter approaches, Austria has announced a fresh Covid lockdown from Monday onwards.
Apart from Austria, many European country governments are forced to think about the lockdown. The Netherlands has already imposed a partial lockdown.
Initially, Salzburg and Upper Austria on Thursday announced that they would introduce their own lockdowns as these provinces are worst hit by the fresh wave of the Covid-19 virus. This situation forced Austria Chancellor Alexandr Schallenberg to announce a nationwide lockdown starting from Monday.
In a statement, Schallenberg said –
We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,
It hurts that such measures still have to be taken.
She added that the lockdown from Monday is essential and would fulfil the requirement of complete vaccination by Feb 1, 2022.
As per the reports, Austria’s 2/3rd population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is the lowest rate in Western Europe and perhaps became the highest infected country in the continent. The last 7 days incidences resemble 99.1% of infections.
Also, Read | Ireland Re-enters Lockdown To Curb COVID-19
Hence, Austria has become the first European country to reimpose a full lockdown to tackle the fresh wave of COVID-19.
Politically, Austria’s ruling coalition has suffered differences over the lockdown decision. The Left-Wing Greens and Conservatives are through a rift. Schallenberg was against the imposition of extra restrictions on the unvaccinated. Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein also called for a night time curfew. But the Left-Wing was more focused on the full lockdown for the unvaccinated.
On the other hand, hundred’s of people gathered in Paris to protest outside the Austrian Embassy on Thursday against the new COVID-19 restrictions. This is due to the fear among them that France might be the next country to impose full lockdown following Austria.
French President Macron says that as of now there is no need for a lockdown for the non-vaccinated people even though there is a spread of Covid.