Austria threatens to bring in new lockdown for unvaccinated as Covid cases soar

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg warned on Friday that if more than a quarter of Austrian intensive care beds were occupied by Covid 19 patients, restrictions could be introduced for unvaccinated people

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg warned on Friday that new restrictions could apply to unvaccinated people if the cases continue to rise (

Image: POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

The Austrian government has threatened to introduce new lockdown restrictions for unvaccinated people as Covid cases continue to increase.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said those who were not stung may only be allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons.

He also warned that unvaccinated Austrians could be denied entry to certain venues – and those who are vaccinated could still enjoy everyday life.

Mr Schallenberg said Friday that only those who are vaccinated or have recovered from the virus will be able to visit restaurants and hotels when the number of Covid-19 patients in the ICU reaches 500 – which is 25 percent of the country’s total ICU capacity .

Vaccine uptake in Austria has slowed down in recent months
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

When the number hits 600, the government is also planning further restrictions on unvaccinated people.

This includes that unvaccinated people are only allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons.

The number of Covid patients in the Austrian intensive care units is 220.

The dramatic announcement came after a meeting between the Chancellor and heads of state and government on Friday to find out how to tackle the rising Covid cases in the country.

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Mr Schallenberg said: “The pandemic is not yet in the rearview mirror. We are about to stumble into a pandemic of the unvaccinated. “

Last week, the country recorded 20,408 new cases of the virus, according to health officials.

It brings the 7-day average to 228.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. A week earlier, that number was 152.5.

The country’s vaccine uptake has slowed in recent months.

Only 65.4 percent of the population have received a dose of the vaccine and 62.2 percent are fully vaccinated.

It comes as Covid cases in the UK are also on the rise.

Yesterday, the UK recorded an additional 39,962 Covid cases in the last 24 hours, while the death toll rose by 72 – an increase of over a quarter in seven days.

It breaks a cycle of 11 straight days where new infections across the UK stayed above 40,000 amid fears that winter was approaching.

Figures released by the Ministry of Health this afternoon show an 11 percent decrease in cases compared to last Sunday (October 17) when 44,985 were recorded.

And 57 deaths within 28 days of testing positive, an increase of 26 percent.

It is the highest number of Covid fatalities on a Sunday since March 7, when it was 82.

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