Austria prepares to impose nationwide lockdown, COVID vaccine mandate

Austria made headlines recently for enacting a rule that largely bans unvaccinated people from leaving their homes. Now, the country is taking the issue much further than many would like to see.

According to The Daily Wire, Austria is about to embark on yet another 10-day national lockdown, set to begin Monday, which is in addition to a recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

The news of the lockdown came as The Guardian reported that Austria’s government is set to implement a strict national COVID-19 vaccine mandate for February, with those who refuse to comply facing the prospect of fines, and even jail time.

“For a long time the consensus in this country was that we don’t want a vaccine mandate,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said.

Unvaccinated ban

“In spite of months of persuasion, we have not managed to convince enough people to be vaccinated. We are not taking this step lightly, but unfortunately, it is necessary,” the chancellor added.

The BBC revealed that under Austria’s new vaccine passport regime, those who remain unvaccinated are only allowed to leave their home for such approved purposes as buying food or visiting a doctor.

However, it appears that there are people in Europe who have had enough of COVID-related restrictions, and some have begun protesting and rioting to express their disapproval.

Violent protests

Fox News reported that unrest has broken out in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands over the past several days.

Although many demonstrators marched peacefully, scenes of violence, arson, and property destruction were seen in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

According to Reuters, three people were transported to a hospital after police allegedly opened fire on a crowd of rioters on Saturday evening as widespread chaos broke out.

“Three rioters were wounded when they were hit by bullets, they remain in hospital,” a statement from Dutch law enforcement noted.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, Rotterdam’s mayor, told reporters that officers “were forced to draw their weapons and even fire direct shots” during what he described as “an orgy of violence.” Dutch Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus offered similar comments, calling the unrest “repulsive.”

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