Austria has commenced lockdown and become the first country in western Europe to take drastic measures against the fourth wave of COVID-19. Just like the previous lockdown, only this time it is done when there is a vaccine.
During the lockdown, public places such as bars, restaurants, cafes, barbershops, cinemas, and non-essential shops may not open in the next 10 days and may be extended to 20 days.
The Christmas market, which had just opened, was also not spared from the lockdown and had to close. Hotels are not allowed to accept new tourists after the lockdown is enforced.
Austrian Chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, at a press conference said that in this lockdown his party will optimize vaccination rates. He targeted that the country would target the entire population to have received the vaccine by February 1.
The lockdown itself has made the Mozart State become the first country in Europe to re-lock it. Apart from Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have also taken tightening measures.
Last week, Austria implemented a special lockdown for those who had not been vaccinated. However, as the infection rate has not decreased, the lockdown has now been extended to all.
Meanwhile, Germany, which is Austria’s neighbour, is also opening up options for a lockdown. Health Minister, Jens Spahn, said that Berlin is currently being cautious given the daily infection rate which has crossed 50 thousand per day.
The WHO previously said that 500,000 lives in Europe will be at risk due to COVID-19 if the countries on the continent do not take serious tightening measures. Signs of that condition are already starting to appear after the Blue Continent almost penetrated 2 million infections per 7 days in the past two weeks.