Austrian police enforce lockdown in Vienna
Austrian police enforce lockdown in ViennaISTOCK

Austria is set to impose a full, nationwide coronavirus lockdown, just days after the country imposed a lockdown on the unvaccinated.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced Friday that starting Monday, Austria will be under strict lockdown.

Austria is the first European country to return to lockdown this fall, with the upcoming lockdown set tentatively to last for 10 days, with possible extensions.

In addition to the lockdown, Schallenberg announced that beginning next February, vaccines will be mandatory in Austria.

"We don't want a fifth wave," Schallenberg warned.

Some 65% of the country’s roughly nine million residents have already received the COVID vaccine, though millions of people – including some two million people over the age of 12 – remain unvaccinated.

The new lockdown comes on the heels of a targeted lockdown, which began this Monday, on the unvaccinated.

Unlike the lockdown imposed this past Monday, the new lockdown will apply restrictions to the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated.

Just last week, Austria’s Health Minister, Wolfgang Mückstein called a full lockdown a “last resort”.

While Austria is the first European country to reimpose full lockdowns this fall, some other European countries, particularly northern European nations hit hard by resurgences of the coronavirus during the flu season, have imposed less comprehensive restrictions aimed at curbing the number of new infections.

Denmark, which lifted virtually all COVID restrictions in August, reversed course in late October and November, restoring some COVID regulations.