The GuardianThe Guardian

Austria is showing that vaccine mandates are no longer unthinkable

By Liam Hoare

22 Nov 2021 · 3 min read

In the past few weeks, Austria has hit many new Covid-19 records – none of them good. On 18 November there were 15,145 new cases recorded, the largest number seen since the pandemic began. And the seven-day average for new confirmed cases per million people is at 1,395, more than double the rates in countries such as Germany, France and the UK.

On Friday the Austrian chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, announced the country’s fourth national lockdown, beginning today and lasting between 10 and 20 days. This makes Austria only the second European country, after Latvia, to impose lockdown measures since vaccines became widely available earlier this year. Going even further, Schallenberg announced that Austria would also be the first in Europe to bring in compulsory vaccination beginning on 1 February 2022.

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