Austria reimposes nationwide lockdown and announces Europe’s first vaccine mandate for all eligible people

Austria’s Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday, November 19, 2021, that the country would be entering into a nationwide full lockdown and is planning to mandate the vaccine to all eligible people on February 1.

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Chancellor Schallenberg is seeking to impose a national vaccine requirement for all eligible people from February 1, 2021. Currently, approximately 66% of Austria’s total population is fully vaccinated.

Austria is the first Western European country to impose strict measures this fall as it enters its fourth national lockdown. 

Chancellor Schallenberg claims that the lockdown will last for a maximum of 20 days, but will be initially in place for 10 days starting Monday, November 22. 

This nationwide lockdown comes just a week after Austria announced a lockdown for only the unvaccinated on Friday, November 12, 2021. 

During the announcement last Friday for the lockdown on the unvaccinated, Chancellor Schallenberg rejected the notion of a nationwide lockdown being applied to the entire country because two-thirds of the population had accepted the vaccine and would not be forced to show “solidarity” with the unvaccinated, CNBC reported.  

“For me, it is clear that there should be no lockdown for the vaccinated out of solidarity for the unvaccinated,” Chancellor Schallenberg said, according to the Associated Press.

During the lockdown of the unvaccinated in Austria, police have been conducting random checks on the public of people over the age of 12 to check individuals’ vaccine statuses.

People walking the streets in Austria have also been allegedly stopped by police and asked to check their vaccination status. 

Protesters in France are taking notice of the shift in Austria and are making efforts to protest outside of the Austrian embassy in Paris, France. 

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