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Austria bans unvaccinated people from restaurants, as daily Covid cases rise

Austria announced on Friday that those who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be barred from cafes, restaurants and hair salons as infections approach the all-time high which was set a year ago.

Approximately 64 percent of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is comparable to the European Union average but one of the lowest rates in Western Europe. Many Austrians, including the members of far-right Freedom Party, the third-largest party in parliament, are sceptical of vaccines.

Daily infections have been surging, reaching 9,388, which is close to the previous high of 9,586 set a year ago. The government has predicted that a new record will be set in the coming days.

Unvaccinated people are barred from hotels, events with more than 25 people and most importantly for a country known for winter sports, ski lifts.

A four-week transition period will be in place during which a first vaccination plus a PCR test will be required for admission to places where the unvaccinated will be prohibited. Only fully vaccinated people and those who have recently recovered from a coronavirus infection will be allowed in after the period.

The city of Vienna, which has the lowest infection rate among Austria’s nine provinces but the highest proportion of COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds, made a similar announcement the day before.

While those eating out will be required to show proof of vaccination, waiters will not be required to present a vaccination certificate.

According to Schallenberg, the restaurant and cinemas are places for leisure activities and one can decide not to go, but it was different with the waiters, as it was their workplace.


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