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Police conduct random vaccine status checks


Innsbruck police officers supervise compliance during the initial day of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Jan Hetfleisch | Getty Images

Austria has put new lockdown measures in place for around 2,000,000 unvaccinated persons. Individuals could face fines if they do not comply.

Since Monday, people who were not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are being kept under lockdown. The federal police have stopped anyone in public to confirm their vaccination status.

Persons who violate the lockdown rules could face up to 500 Euros ($567) in fines. In addition, anyone refusing to submit to vaccination status checks can get a 1,450 euro fine.

Anyone over 12 years old who hasn’t received two doses of vaccine are subject to the new restrictions. Recovering from the disease is exempted from these restrictions.

For public areas such as restaurants, hairdressers and Christmas markets, you will need to show your proof of vaccination. To be allowed into public areas in Vienna, children older than six years old must show proof of negative Covid testing.

Only immunizations approved by Europe’s medical regulator – the PfizerBioNtech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & JohnsonAnd Moderna vaccines – will be accepted by Austrian authorities when it comes to proving vaccination status. Immunization greatly reduces the riskDeath and hospitalization.

Austrian officers checked a man’s vaccination certificates and identity during an Austrian Police control at Voesendorf in district Moedling on November 16th, 2021.

Getty Images| AFP | Getty Images

Johns Hopkins University data shows that the number of cases of virus infection in Austria rose to an all-time peak of 13,152 over the weekend. New infections were reported in the country on Monday with 11,889 cases.

Austria is home to around 65% of the world’s total vaccinated population, making it the most vaccinated country in Western Europe. Liechtenstein has the next-lowest.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced the new lockdown restrictions during a Sunday press conference. He said that the rules will be monitored very consistent and would be sanctioned by officers.

“The situation with coronavirus in Austria is very serious. A fourth wave is now just around the corner. Reporters are experiencing more infections in Austria than ever,” he said. “Vaccination will be the only solution to this pandemic-like cycle.”

Karl Nehammer, Interior Minister, stated on Twitter Tuesday that around 15,000 checks of police officers were conducted in Austria on Monday.

“About 120 violations have been punished,” he stated, noting that the public has shown high cooperation with authorities.

The lockdown of the unvaccinated will be observed by police officers in Innsbruck on November 15, 2021.

Jan Hetfleisch | Getty Images

The policy was criticized for being difficult to enforce despite the conviction of lawmakers that Austrian police were present to make sure the lockdown was observed.

Non-vaccinated individuals are allowed to travel outside their homes for many reasons. This includes grocery shopping and traveling to work, provided that they do not test positive for the disease.

Austria’s third largest political party, Freedom Party (right-wing), is resisting the lockdown and has made plans to demonstrate against restrictions in Vienna this Saturday.

Herbert Kickl, the leader of the party, posted on Facebook Monday, saying that he was positive for the coronavirus. He would now be under quarantine in case it happens.