scorecardAn Austrian province is preparing a COVID-19 lockdown for unvaccinated people only, saying the vaccinated shouldn't have to 'lose their freedom'
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An Austrian province is preparing a COVID-19 lockdown for unvaccinated people only, saying the vaccinated shouldn't have to 'lose their freedom'

Sinéad Baker   

An Austrian province is preparing a COVID-19 lockdown for unvaccinated people only, saying the vaccinated shouldn't have to 'lose their freedom'
LifeScience1 min read
  • An Austrian province plans to do a lockdown only for unvaccinated people from Monday.
  • It means they can't leave their homes except for essential reasons, like buying food and exercising.

A province in Austria is planning to impose a COVID-19 lockdown on unvaccinated people only as the country faces a new surge.

The province of Upper Austria plans to bring in the change on Monday, pending approval from the federal government, said Thomas Stelzer, the region's governor, Die Presse reported.

Under the plans, unvaccinated people can't leave home except for essential reasons, which include buying food and exercising, the BBC reported.

The exact number of unvaccinated people in Upper Austria is not clear. The province has a population of 1.5 million as of December 2020, CEIC Data reported, and the country is 65% vaccinated, according to the federal government.

People who are not vaccinated in Austria are already barred from places like cinemas, shops, and restaurants, as well as large events, The Local Austria noted.

The rest of the country could follow the province's lead.

Alexander Schallenberg, Austria's chancellor, said a national lockdown for unvaccinated people is "probably unavoidable," Die Presse reported.

Schallenberg said on Thursday, according to The Guardian: "I don't see why two-thirds should lose their freedom because one-third is dithering.

"For me, it is clear that there should be no lockdown for the vaccinated out of solidarity for the unvaccinated."

He added: "A lockdown for the unvaccinated means one cannot leave one's home unless one is going to work, shopping [for essentials], stretching one's legs - namely, exactly what we all had to suffer through in 2020."

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