As the fourth COVID-19 lockdown begins, Austria closes public life Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: On November 16, 2021, police check the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination status of shoppers at the entrance of a store in Vienna, Austria. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Vienna (Reuters)-With the start of the fourth nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, Austria closed public life on Monday, making it the first to re-impose severe and unwelcome in the face of a surge in coronavirus infections this fall Measures of Western European countries.

This blockade is similar to previous blockades, but was introduced for the first time since the vaccine was widely available. The government stated that places where most people gather, such as restaurants, cafes, bars, theaters, non-essential shops and hairdressers, cannot be opened for 10 days at first, and may be as long as 20 days.

The Christmas market is a big attraction for tourists who have just begun to open, and must be closed, but in the last minute changes, the ski lifts can continue to be open to vaccinated people. However, the hotel will be close to tourists who have not yet checked in when the lockdown began.

On Sunday night, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein told ORF TV: “This is a situation that we have to respond to now.”

“Blockade, a relatively tough method, a sledgehammer, is the only option to reduce the number of (infections) here.”

The conservative-led government imposed a lockdown on unvaccinated people last week, but the number of daily infections is still much higher than the peak reached a year ago, and intensive care beds have run out.

On Friday, the government announced that it will re-implement a complete lockdown from Monday and will mandate vaccination from February 1. This is a measure taken by a small number of countries.

People can leave home for limited reasons, such as going to work or buying necessities. Walking is allowed, no time and distance restrictions. You can only meet one person from another family at a time.

Workplaces and schools will remain open, but the government has asked parents to keep their children at home as much as possible.

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