As of today, people in Austria are only allowed to leave their homes for a valid reason. There is much opposition to the rule to contain the pandemic.

A fourth lockdown is intended to break the massive corona wave in Austria. Since Monday only shops for daily needs have been open, the cultural scene is idle, the museums and cinemas are closed. People are only allowed to leave their homes for a compelling reason. This also includes a walk or a jogging run.

Schools stay open

The schools are open, it is up to the parents whether they send their offspring to class. The number of cases of corona infections is particularly high among children and adolescents. The police want to monitor with numerous controls whether the regulations are being adhered to.

The ruling ÖVP had long rejected this step. For weeks it was argued that such restrictions were unreasonable for the vaccinated and convalescent. It was only the heavy utilization of the intensive care units with Covid patients that ultimately led to a rethink.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) emphasized that the exit restrictions would end on December 13th. Several ministers in his cabinet have made less clear statements. Even in the badly hit economy, there are doubts as to whether the government will keep its promise of a three-week lockdown. For unvaccinated people, the measure should continue indefinitely.

FPÖ leads lockdown and vaccination opponents

At the weekend around 50,000 people in Austria protested against the lockdown and the compulsory corona vaccination announced for February 2022. 40,000 demonstrators gathered in Vienna alone. There were also rallies in Bregenz, Linz and Salzburg. The vaccination skeptics find political support from the right wing FPÖ, the third strongest force in parliament.

Around 14,000 new infections were registered within 24 hours on Sunday. According to the authorities, the seven-day incidence climbed to 1,085 infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week. Occupancy in the intensive care units continues to rise. 528 patients are currently being cared for there. That’s not far from the third wave’s high, which was 611. Two out of three Austrians are now fully vaccinated.

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