Austria was the first EU country to introduce an obligation vaccination against COVID-19. This was announced by Federal Chancellor Alexander Schalenberg at a press conference after government consultations with the Austrian federal states. This measure is expected to come into force on February 1, 2022.
Due to the extremely high number of newly infected people in the country, a lockdown will be introduced on Monday, which will last a maximum of 20 days. 10 days later it will be decided whether and where this last measure will be extended. On December 13th, the lockdown for vaccinated and cured persons with the corresponding green certificate will be automatically lifted. The restrictions remain in effect for those who have not been vaccinated.
The Chancellor justified the need for drastic measures with the fact that the campaign of several months to get around 35 percent of the population to vaccinate was not working and that the strict measures were necessary because of a lack of solidarity and negligence. The Chancellor stated that certain political forces were also active in this area.
Health Minister Wolfgang Mukstein emphasized the overload of the health system and called on the unvaccinated not to endanger themselves and their relatives, and emphasized the importance of the third dose for long-term immunity.
Gunther Plater, chairman of the state governance conference, argued that the introduction of the mandatory vaccination was the only measure taken to combat the pandemic in the country. During the lockdown weeks, an infrastructure will be built nationwide that will allow anyone to receive a first, second and third needle.