Austria locks down unvaccinated

Austria has imposed a lockdown on people unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

Its conservative-led government said that from Monday (November 15) about two million people in the country of roughly nine million were now only allowed to leave their homes for a limited number of reasons like traveling to work or shopping for essential items.

But there is widespread skepticism, including among conservatives and the police, about how the lockdown can be enforced.

It will be hard to verify, for example, whether someone is on their way to work, which is allowed, or going to shop for non-essential items, which is not.

"I think something had to be done because of the high incidence rate. Whether a lockdown for only the unvaccinated is the right thing to do, I find that difficult to say."

"I would say it will be difficult to control. You cannot separate people that way."

The aim of the measure is to counter a surge in infections to record levels fueled by a full vaccination rate of around 65% of the population - one of the lowest in western Europe.

Skepticism about vaccines is encouraged by the far right Freedom Party, the third-biggest in parliament, which is planning a protest against the government's coronavirus policies on Saturday (November 20).

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