Since Monday, November 8, Austria has tightened measures to contain Covid-19. The decision, taken on Friday following the high number of infections, in Italy was simplified with the formula “lockdown for the unvaccinated”. But it is more correct to speak of “Country 2G”, from the initials of the German words Geimpft (vaccinated) and Genessen (cured). Therefore, as of yesterday, only vaccinated and cured will be able to access bars, hotels, hairdressers or events with more than 25 people.
On his Twitter profile, the Minister of Health Wolfgang Mückstein also clarified the other measures: in all shops and museums it will be mandatory to wear the FFP2 mask and vaccinated with J&J from March 2022, they will need a second dose to obtain a valid green pass . For all others, the minister specifies, the green certificate will last up to nine months after the second vaccination. “None of us wanted such drastic measures, so we all have to do our part,” he chirped on the social network.
But, underlines Deputy Chancellor Werner Kogler in an interview with Orf, “We are sure this can help contain the epidemic.”
According to the latest available data, in Austria the numbers of new infections continue to increase and only 65 percent of the population is vaccinated. Deaths and ICU admissions are rising, the most affected areas are Upper Austria with 1,836 new cases, Lower Austria with 1,717 and Steiermark with 747. For this, Conservative Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg believes that the measures will not be lifted before six weeks: “Most likely the 2G rule will also apply at Christmas,” he explained to the newspaper Kronen Zeitung. Indeed, according to his deputy, the restrictions will remain until New Year’s Eve.
Despite the short notice with which they were imposed, the new rules did not cause protests but long lines in front of vaccination centers. Tens of thousands received their first dose over the weekend. And, according to the ministry’s data, there have been 213,000 vaccinations in the last seven days alone. “I’m tired of making continuous swabs,” explained a woman to a reporter from the Zdf channel. “Unfortunately, the time has come to get vaccinated,” confessed another. For the doubters, a transition period has also been provided for those who are not yet immunized: for four weeks a puncture and a negative swab is enough. Then, instead, full vaccination coverage will be required, in compliance with the “2G rule”. Or, at least, the wallet: customers and employees risk up to 500 euros in fines, 3,600 employers.
Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.
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