Faced with German skepticism about vaccines, Austria introduces containment for recalcitrant

“Containment for the unvaccinated. “ Austrian Conservative Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg took a step never seen before by announcing, Friday, November 12, that Austrians not vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer be able to leave their homes from Monday, except to go to work, do their homework. essential races or “Stretch your legs”. “The majority of the population, who were right and protected themselves, must also be protected now. I do not see her confining herself in solidarity with the minority of the unprotected ”, said Schallenberg to justify this unprecedented differential treatment.

This decision is the result of the wave of contamination, as spectacular as it is rapid, which is currently affecting all of Central Europe and extending as far as Germany. These are all countries where vaccination rates remain lower, or just around the European Union (EU) average.

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On Wednesday November 10, Austria recorded 12,309 contaminations, the highest number since the start of the epidemic. As a corollary, the number of patients hospitalized in intensive care has sharply increased to reach 417 people. On Thursday, the government’s scientific commission sounded the alarm by ensuring that intensive care services could, at this rate, be overwhelmed around the “November 24” and asked “Immediate additional measures”.

Since November 8, unvaccinated Austrians could no longer access restaurants, hairdressers, and cultural activities without showing a health pass attesting to a vaccination or a cure dating less than six months. the “Containment of the unvaccinated” will limit their travel even more, since they will no longer be able to go to non-essential shops or traditional Christmas markets. They will still be able to go to work, with tests, or to the supermarket, and also keep the right to go out. “To ventilate physically and mentally”, which has always been possible during previous confinements in Austria, where there has never been a kilometer rule or need for exit certificates.

A tradition of non-compulsory vaccination

The Minister of Health, the ecologist Wolfgang Mückstein, announced that this differentiated containment would apply as a priority to the two most affected regions – those of Salzburg and Upper Austria -, but that it could also be extended on Sunday to the whole country. “I hope that this decision will be taken in all regions”, thus pleaded Mr. Schallenberg, conditioning this measure to a discussion with the presidents of the region and to an agreement of the office of the National Council – the lower house of Parliament -, which should be met urgently on Sunday evening to adopt this sensitive measure. The ordinances precisely regulating this confinement should not be made public until a few hours before their entry into force.

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Faced with German skepticism about vaccines, Austria introduces containment for recalcitrant