Austria Becomes First Country in Europe to Make COVID Vaccine Mandatory

The government has also announced a full national lockdown just days after all unvaccinated people were told to stay at home.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
Austrian police officers check a man's identity and vaccination certificate during a control in Voesendorf, district Moedling, Austria, on November 16, 2021,
Austrian police officers check a man's identity and vaccination certificate during a control in Voesendorf, district Moedling, Austria, on November 16, 2021. Photo: HANS PUNZ/APA/AFP via Getty Images

The Austrian government has reimposed a full national lockdown just days after the country ordered a targeted lockdown on the country’s unvaccinated population

As part of the new measures announced by Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, vaccination will become mandatory in law from February next year.

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On Monday, roughly 2 million unvaccinated adults were told they must stay at home unless they’re buying food or medicines, going to work, or exercising. In response to the new measures, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of major cities across Austria last weekend in protest.

However, Schallenberg has decided that even more measures are required to combat rising infection rates in a country where 68 percent of adults are fully vaccinated

“We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,” Schallenberg said at a press conference. “It hurts that such measures still have to be taken.”

The national lockdown is currently scheduled to last at least ten days, but Schallenberg confirmed that it could be extended should infection rates continue to rise.