Source: Nworeport

VIENNA, Austria: Under new rules that took effect on November 8, the Austrian government said unvaccinated people who have not contracted COVID-19 will be barred from entering restaurants, hotels and hair salons, or attending public events with more than 25 people.

After meeting state leaders to discuss rapidly rising coronavirus cases in the country, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced the new rules to reporters on Friday evening.

“It is simply our responsibility to protect people in our country,” Schallenberg said, noting the rising case numbers and increasingly full intensive care units at hospitals.

Those vaccinated or recovered, or others who could could provide negative test results, could previously enter restaurants, hotels and other public areas, but the government is now planning a four-week transition period to encourage the unvaccinated to get their shots, during which time those who have received one vaccine dose and can show a negative PCR test will be allow to attend events and enter the listed businesses.

However, after four weeks, only fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered from COVID-19 will be allowed entry. Earlier this week, the capital, Vienna, announced similar rules.

On Saturday, the country reported a record of 9,923 daily cases, and in the past seven days, the infection rate rose from 317.4 cases per 100,000 persons to 522.4 cases per 100,000. If the situation continues to deteriorate, further restrictions on unvaccinated people could be implemented.

Currently, 66 percent of Austrians have received one vaccine dose, while 64.5 percent are fully vaccinated, which is one of the lowest rates in Western Europe.

This week the Austrian government announced all adults who were vaccinated six months ago are eligible for a booster dose.

Schallenberg called again on unvaccinated Austrians to be vaccinated, stressing that it is a “moral responsibility.”