Austria to enter lockdown, bring in mandatory vaccinations

Unvaccinated people in Austria who also haven’t had COVID-19 will no longer be allowed to enter restaurants, hotels and hair salons or attend public events larger than 25 people under new rules that take effect Monday, the government said.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg outlined the rules Friday night after a meeting with state-level leaders to discuss the country’s response to rapidly rising coronavirus cases.

“It is simply our responsibility to protect the people in our country,” Schallenberg told reporters, noting the case numbers and increasingly full hospital intensive care units.

Previously, people could enter restaurants, hotels, and other areas if they were vaccinated, had recovered from the virus or could show results from a negative test.

The government is planning a transition period for the first four weeks to encourage the unvaccinated to get shots. During that time, anyone who has received one vaccine dose and has resulted from a valid PCR test will be allowed to attend events and enter the listed types of locations.

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