Austria lockdown for unvaccinated to start on Monday: chancellor

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Alexander Schallenberg has announced a lockdown for people not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Alexander Schallenberg has announced a lockdown for people not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Thierry Monasse, Getty Images

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Sunday that a nationwide lockdown would begin on Monday for those not vaccinated against Covid-19 or recently recovered, as the EU member fights a record surge in cases.

Around 65 percent of Austria's almost nine million people are vaccinated, below the EU average of 67 percent, while daily increases in infections have hit records this week.

Schallenberg told reporters:

The situation is serious ... We don't take this step with a light heart but unfortunately it is necessary.

The lockdown means people over 12 who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered will not be allowed to leave the house except for reasons such as buying essential supplies, exercise or seeking medical care.

READ | Gates Foundation, Unicef ink R2.2bn guarantee to back Covid-19 jabs in poorer countries

The lockdowns across the Alpine country are to be enforced with random spot checks for the next 10 days. After that it will be reviewed, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said.

Parliament - controlled by Schallenberg's conservative-Green coalition - is expected to approve the measure later Sunday.

Schallenberg and Mueckstein called again on those who have not yet been vaccinated to get jabbed.

Also from Monday, Vienna is becoming the first region in the EU to offer jabs to children from the age of five to 11 at a vaccination centre in the capital.

Appointments were booked for more than 5,000 children when registration opened on Saturday, the city said.

READ | Airbnb says international bookings are up 44% after the US reopened borders to foreign travellers

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not yet issued an authorisation for any of the vaccines to be used for this age group ,though member states have the right to do so in a public health emergency.

Last week, the government had already said that only those vaccinated against or recovered from the virus would be allowed into restaurants, hotels and cultural venues.

So far, some 11 700 people infected with the coronavirus have died in Austria. Daily case increases hit an all-time high of more than 13 000 new infections on Saturday.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2421 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
47% - 9989 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
38% - 7966 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 787 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.