People who are unvaccinated or who haven’t recently recovered from COVID-19 will have to go into lockdown from Monday, Austria’s chancellor announced.
“The situation is serious,” Alexander Schallenberg said, adding that the measure was, unfortunately, “necessary”.
Random checks will be carried out to make sure the population is following the measure which will be re-evaluated in 10 days. It applies to people over the age of 12 who are unvaccinated.
The measure is being put in place as the country reports record-high cases of COVID-19. More than 13,000 new cases were reported on Saturday.
Around 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated, a lower percentage than the European average.
Schallenberg said on Friday that the vaccination rate in the country was “shamefully low”.
Vaccines are currently available for people over the age of 12, but amid the crisis, the city of Vienna will begin vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is still being evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for this age group, but the city will put in place a pilot project to vaccinate 200 kids a day.