Austrian Covid Hotspot to Impose Lockdown for Unvaccinated
(Bloomberg) -- The Austrian region with the highest coronavirus infection rate plans to impose a lockdown for unvaccinated people, as worsening outbreaks force authorities across central Europe to seek stronger incentives to get inoculated.
Upper Austrians who haven’t taken the vaccine will only be allowed to leave home for work and to buy everyday goods from Monday, several newspapers said Thursday, citing state leader Thomas Stelzer. The national Covid task force has also recommended a similar measure for Salzburg.
Neighboring Italy sparked protests last month after requiring workers to show proof of vaccination. The outgoing Czech government is also mulling a plan to ban access to some events for people who aren’t vaccinated.
The Upper Austria region, located between the German and Czech borders, has the nation’s lowest vaccination rate at 60%. The restrictions will mark the first time the highest alert level is introduced in Austria, according to a response plan based on intensive-care unit occupancy.
Upper Austria and Salzburg both had 7-day incidence levels in excess of 1,100. About a third of all intensive-care beds have been assigned to coronavirus patients in Upper Austria, with almost 70% of patients not fully vaccinated.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg has said similar measures may have to be introduced nationwide if virus cases continue to grow. He’s ruled out a lockdown for the vaccinated, however.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.