Austrian chancellor says the unvaccinated could be forced to lockdown in their homes if COVID-19 cases worsen

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg in October 2021. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images
  • Austria’s chancellor on Friday warned of possible restrictions for people not vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Restrictions for unvaccinated people would begin if ICU capacity reaches 25%, he said, according to the Associated Press.
  • If more than 600 people require treatment in the ICU, health authorities will require the unvaccinated to remain in their homes.

People in Austria who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 could soon be forced to enter a mandatory lockdown in their homes if COVID-19 cases worsen in the country, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said.

“The pandemic is not yet in the rearview mirror,” Schallenberg said Friday, according to the Associated Press. “We are about to stumble into a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

According to the AP report, Schallenberg said restrictions on the unvaccinated would go into effect if 500 patients were being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units in the country, which would make up 25% of its ICU capacity. These restrictions would include introducing vaccine requirements for businesses like restaurants and hotels, he said, per the report.

If another 100 people required admission to the ICU to treat COVID-19, which would make up one-third of all of the ICU beds in the country, officials would impose further restrictions on the unvaccinated, allowing them to leave their homes for just a few reasons, Schallenberg said.

There are about 220 COVID-19 patients in Austrian ICUs, about half the number required to trigger the restrictions, the AP reported.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been 784,429 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year. Just about 11,000 people have died from the disease, according to the WHO data. Over 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Austria, the WHO reports.

About 62% of the population is fully vaccinated against the disease, the AP reported.

Cases of the disease have increased by more than 20,000 in the past week, per the AP, bringing the seven-day average of infections to 228.5 out of 100,000 people.