Austria to ban unvaccinated restaurants as COVID cases rise – The New Indian Express
VIENNA: Unvaccinated people in Austria who have also not had COVID-19 will no longer be allowed to enter restaurants, hotels and hairdressing salons or to attend public events of more than 25 people in under the new rules that will take effect Monday, the government said.
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg outlined the rules on Friday evening after a meeting with state leaders to discuss the country’s response to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
“It is simply our responsibility to protect the people of our country,” Schallenberg told reporters, noting the number of cases and the increasingly full hospital intensive care units.
Previously, people could enter restaurants, hotels and other areas if they were vaccinated, if they had recovered from the virus, or could show the results of a negative test.
The government is planning a transition period during the first four weeks to encourage unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. During this time, anyone who has received a dose of vaccine and obtained the results of a valid PCR test will be allowed to witness the events and enter the types of locations listed.
After four weeks, only people who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 will be allowed entry.
The capital Vienna announced similar restrictions earlier this week.
Austria reported a pandemic record of 9,923 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, surpassing its previous record of 9,586 last year. Over the past seven days, the infection rate has fallen from 317.4 cases per 100,000 population to 522.4 cases per 100,000 population.
If the situation continues to worsen, further restrictions on unvaccinated people could loom on the horizon. Schallenberg said last month that if intensive care filled a third of total capacity, the government would implement lockdown restrictions for residents who are not vaccinated.
Currently, 66.7% of the Austrian population has received a dose of the vaccine and 64.5% are fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in Western Europe. The Austrian government announced this week that all adults are eligible for booster shots, if six months have passed since their last dose.
Schallenberg again called on unvaccinated Austrians to get vaccinated, calling it a “moral responsibility”.