Austria Imposes Vaccine Mandate From Feb 2022 & Will Fine The Unvaccinated

As Europe sees a resurgence of Covid-19 cases heading into winter, various countries are tightening restrictions to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

One of these countries, Austria, has implemented various restrictions such as a lockdown, but this one probably takes the cake.

Bloomberg reported on Monday (22 Nov) that from 1 Feb next year, Austria will impose a vaccine mandate.

Those who refuse to get vaccinated will face fines. About 66% of eligible people are fully vaccinated.

Austria will fine unvaccinated people up to S$5,000

From 1 Feb next year, authorities will begin sending out invitations to the remaining unvaccinated people to book appointments.

This marks an unprecedented vaccine mandate in Europe.

Those that are unable to get vaccinated due to medical reasons will be exempted, of course.

However, those who still refuse to get vaccinated will face fines of up to S$5,500 (3,600 euros).

The exact amount is unconfirmed at present time.

Minister for the Constitution Karoline Edtstadler also said that there’ll be fines of up to S$2,300 (1,500 euros) for refusal of a booster shot.

She said that the aim is to get people fully vaccinated.

Lockdown begins in Austria

In light of rapidly spiralling Covid-19 cases, Austria has also imposed a full lockdown, which began yesterday.

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With just 66% of the population vaccinated, any reopening is likely to result in more cases of severe illness and death.

It remains to be seen if the takeup increases, as there is a substantial number of people against the vaccine in Austria.

On Saturday (20 Nov), the Freedom Party led around 40,000 people gathered in Vienna to protest the measures, Bloomberg reported.

Hope for deaths to be reduced

Unvaccinated people are more at risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19 infection.

While freedoms are important, frontliners are also struggling to deal with the outbreaks caused by the rise in cases.

Austria is the first European country to impose a vaccine mandate, and more countries may follow if the situation continues to worsen.

What do you think about the fines being imposed for people who refuse to get vaccinated? Let us know in the comments.

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Featured image adapted from Concert Vienna.