Austria is undergoing nationwide lockdown yet again in order to combat the surging cases of coronavirus.

The government announced a nationwide lockdown as a desperate measure to curtail the skyrocketing coronavirus cases. The lockdown became necessary as the daily death toll tripled in recent weeks while the hospitals and medical institutes warned the nation about the capacity shortage of the intensive care units.

According to the government officials, the nation is put under lockdown for 10 days but it might get extended to 20 days if the number of cases does not drop.

According to the reports, people of Austria are allowed to leave home in special circumstances only which includes exercising, visiting a doctor, or buying groceries and other household necessities.

Alexander Schellenberg, the Austrian chancellor announced that Austria is planning to introduce a vaccine mandate across the country latest by February 2022. The government plans to impose fines on people who do not plan to adhere to the vaccine mandate.

Alexander Schellenberg stated, “I’m sorry to take this drastic step.” He further sent out an apology to all the vaccinated people that they had to go through all these restrictions and suffer under the new lockdown stricter measures. Earlier, Austria had put a lockdown for the unvaccinated population only but that did not help in slowing down the infection rate, therefore, the lockdown was imposed on the whole nation.

Austria is one of the lowest vaccinated nations of western Europe. Only about 66% of the total population of Austria is fully vaccinated.

Austria is one of the few nations of Europe where a rapid rise has been observed in coronavirus cases. One of the major reasons is the low vaccination rate which made the virus strike back again in full throttle as soon as winter approached the country.

This is the fourth lockdown in Austria since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The country reported a record 15,809 infections in a day which is an all-time high.

The lockdown restrictions are met with fierce criticism from all fields of life across Austria. There has been a protest in the capital city of Vienna against the lockdown which saw more than 40,000 people gather together against the government.