Wed, 01 Dec 2021

VIENNA, Austria: Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said unvaccinated people in the country could face new lockdown restrictions, as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

He made his statement after meeting with state leaders on Friday to discuss their response to the rise in Covid cases.

"The pandemic is not yet in the rearview mirror. We are about to stumble into a pandemic of the unvaccinated," Schallenberg stressed.

Only people who are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 can enter business establishments, such as restaurants and hotels, once the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units reaches 500, or 25 percent of the country's total ICU capacity, he added.

Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons once the number of ICU patients reaches 600, or one-third of total capacity.

According to health authorities, the current number of Austrian COVID-19 patients in the nation's ICUs is 220, while 20,408 new cases were reported in the past week, bringing the seven-day average to 228.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. One week earlier, that figure was 152.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Some 65.4 percent of Austrians have received one dose of the vaccine, while 62.2 percent are fully vaccinated.

Although Austria's government has encouraged the public to get vaccinated, the rate of vaccinations has slowed in recent months.

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