Austria is set to impose a new nationwide lockdown, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced Sunday, with the restrictions limited to the unvaccinated.
Schallenberg said that starting Monday, unvaccinated Austrians 12 and over will be ordered to remain at home, and will be allowed out only for a limited number of purposes.
“It’s our job as the government of Austria to protect the people,” Schallenberg said Sunday. “Therefore we decided that starting Monday... there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated.”
Some 65% of Austrians are fully vaccinated, making Austria one of the less vaccinated European Union member states. Some two million Austrians will be impacted by the new lockdown, which is tentatively slated to last for ten days, but could be extended.
The lockdown expands the restrictions on unvaccinated people, who are already prohibited from visiting entertainment venues, restaurants, barbershops, and many other public venues.
"The aim is clear: we want on Sunday to give the green light for a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated," Schallenberg said Friday, regarding the government vote Sunday.
Earlier, Schallenberg chastised unvaccinated Austrians, calling his country’s vaccination rate “shamefully low”.
As part of the new lockdown, police officers will be instructed to stop people in public areas and request proof of vaccination.
The new restrictions drew protests, including a mass gathering at the Ballhausplatz in Vienna, where protesters denounced vaccine mandates and restrictions on the unvaccinated.