Austria Sends Unvaccinated Into Lockdown

2 million. That’s roughly how many people are believed to be affected by the new restrictions from Austria’s population of 9 million people. Relative to population, Austria has one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. According to data collated by Our World In Data, the daily number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the last week is below just Slovenia and Croatia.   

Schallenberg said the new measures were an attempt to raise the country’s “shamefully low” vaccination rate. Around 65% of the population is fully vaccinated, one of the worst vaccination rates in Western Europe. "We are not taking this step lightly, but unfortunately it is necessary," the chancellor said.

Despite the ready availability of safe and effective vaccines in wealthy countries and the heavy toll of the pandemic, resistance to the shots remains high. The nationwide rules in Austria expand upon local restrictions in Upper Austria imposed Friday and are the latest restrictions to explicitly target vaccine holdouts for their role in perpetuating the pandemic.