Through restrictions that were enforced yesterday, the unvaccinated in Austria will only be allowed to leave their homes for reasons considered essential to life, such as going to work, food shopping, or visiting the doctor – or getting vaccinated.
These measures, which are believed to be unprecedented in Europe, are expected to affect millions of people not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the regions of Upper Austria and Salzburg.
The measures affect those who are unvaccinated and over the age of 12 and there is no longer an option to present a negative test.
There will be random checks to ensure compliance, which has been compared to “traffic controls.” Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said the government would also introduce a vaccine requirement for people working in the health care industry.
The restrictions have been introduced as a response to advice from “medical experts.” German and Austrian officials met over the weekend to approve the plans, which could then be enforced elsewhere, with spot checks being used to ensure the unvaccinated comply.
Alexander Schallenberg, the chancellor, said: “Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to leave their flats to go to work, for food shopping or when they need to stretch their legs.”
He also said that these measures depended on the “common sense” of people, as it is difficult to ensure that everyone complies with the restrictions. “We don’t live in a police state and are not able – and nor do we want – to control every street corner.”
Currently, both Austria and Germany are using Covid vaccine passports, which citizens can present via QR codes on mobile phones to prove they have been jabbed.
However, the new restrictions have faced backlash from the public, many of whom are unvaccinated, and refuse to follow the new rules. Similarly, the police union in Austria voiced their concerns about implementing the restrictions, fearing they could lose public trust.
Unsurprisingly, many Austrians are now taking to the streets to protest against the tyrannical restrictions that threaten to imprison over 2 million unvaccinated citizens.
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