Austria, one of the worst-hit countries in Europe’s latest Covid-19 surge, has seen infections plummet and vaccination rates soar after imposing a lockdown and saying it would make the shots mandatory next year.
The measures, and the steep fall in new cases since they were announced, could offer some options to countries in a region where infections are still rising rapidly or plateauing at a high level…
Now, the lockdown is being rolled back across the country as planned, with the number of new daily cases averaging around 400. Meanwhile, the number of people who have had at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine now exceeds 72% of the nine-million-strong population, an increase of 2% since the tightening of restrictions, according to official figures.
A special lockdown for the unvaccinated that was introduced on Nov. 15, leaving them unable to enter nonessential businesses, entertainment and sports venues, will remain in place even as restrictions are being lifted for the vaccinated.