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This country might send millions of unvaccinated people into lockdown

A coronavirus surge in Austria has led Europe to worry about the future of COVID-19

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Vaccinations against the COVID-19 disease are offered in Austria.

Vaccinations against the COVID-19 disease are offered in one of Austria’s most iconic buildings, the St. Stephan’s Cathedral in the city center of Vienna, Austria, on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.

Lisa Leutner, Associated Press

Austria may soon order millions of unvaccinated people to stay at home and go into lockdown, CNN reports.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said Thursday that unvaccinated people may be asked to stay home as the country deals with a potential new COVID-19 surge, according to CNN.

  • Schallenberg said Austria’s vaccination rate is “shamefully low,” which led officials to consider the lockdown.
  •  “In other states that rate is a lot higher — it is shameful as we have enough vaccines available,” Schallenberg said.

Unvaccinated Austrians would be asked to stay at home after 30% of hospital intensive care beds are filled with COVID-19 patients. Right now, the country has about 21% capacity. Currently, unvaccinated people in Austria are banned from entertainment and sports venues.

  • ‘’It is clear that this winter will be uncomfortable for the unvaccinated,” Schallenberg said, adding ‘’the lockdown could come much faster than some might think.’’

Austria’s COVID-19 struggle comes as nearby Germany faces its own crisis. Per CNBCGermany reported more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, prompting a warning from officials for people to get vaccinated.

  • “Germany is in the midst of what has been described as a fourth wave of Covid, as the delta variant spreads as the weather gets colder,” according to CNBC.

Berlin has taken steps similar to Austria by banning unvaccinated people from entertainment venues, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “The move comes amid an escalation in rhetoric against unvaccinated people from national ministers in Germany, where the inoculation rollout has fallen behind several European neighbors to the west,” per CNN.