Austria has introduced new measures to combat rising levels of coronavirus infection targeting those who remain unvaccinated.
From Monday, only vaccinated persons and those cured of Covid-19 are allowed to eat at restaurants, attend sporting events or use the on-site ski lift. The rule also applies to hotels and services such as hairdressing salons.
“We believe that this can make a strong contribution to curbing what is happening,” Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler was quoted as saying on Austrian television on Sunday.
He added that regional authorities could introduce even tougher measures if they deem them necessary, including local blockades “as a last resort”.
To date, more than a quarter of people in Austria aged 12 and over still do not have a vaccination certificate, which has been cited as one of the main reasons for the large increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations.
The seven-day incidence in Austria is currently 599.6 per 100,000 people. In Upper Austria and the Salzburg region – the two federal states with the lowest vaccine rates – the incidence has already exceeded 900.
Meanwhile over the weekend, rising vaccination figures were reported from across the country.
The new measures are being phased in over a four-week period, during which proof of a first vaccine and a negative PCR test will suffice.
Children under 12 years old are exempt from the regulations and a negative test is sufficient for ages 13 to 15 years old. People who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons can continue to participate in public life with a medical certificate and PCR test. In Austria, rapid tests and PCR are free for everyone.
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