Austria is tightening the principles of a nationwide vaccine go program beginning Monday because it makes an attempt to stem a coronavirus surge that has introduced circumstances to ranges unseen in nearly a yr.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg introduced the modifications Friday night time, telling reporters after a gathering with state governors: “It’s merely our accountability to guard the folks of our nation.”
Austrians will want proof of vaccination or a previous an infection to be seated at a restaurant, enter a bar, go to a hairdresser or be part of any gathering of greater than 25 folks. Up till now, documentation of a unfavourable check was additionally accepted.
The brand new federal guidelines match ones that the capital, Vienna, had deliberate to introduce a number of days later, when it’ll additionally begin offering the Pfizer vaccine for children of ages 5 to 11, pre-empting a call by the European medical regulator.
The nation’s nationwide well being company reviews 522 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the previous week — a price not seen since November of final yr, when Austria was compelled to enter a full lockdown. Hospitalizations stay under what they have been then, nonetheless, with about half as many Covid sufferers in intensive care as in the course of the peak in November 2020, according to health agency figures.
Round 63 p.c of individuals in Austria are absolutely vaccinated — greater than in the US, however lower than in most European Union international locations, in accordance with government figures collated by the Our World in Data project.
On the information convention in Vienna on Friday night, Mr. Schallenberg tried as soon as extra to persuade Austrians to take the shot.
“With a vaccination we defend not solely ourselves, but in addition our mates, household and colleagues,” he mentioned.