Austria makes vaccination compulsory


Central Europe


An Austrian police officer checks a driver's digital vaccination certificate on a smartphone during a traffic control at the Südring in Klagenfurt, Austria. Photo AFP, Gert Eggenberger

Austria will introduce a general compulsory vaccination on February 1st, 2022. In addition, the whole of Austria will go into lockdown from Monday to reverse the sharp increase in the number of corona infections.

Austria is the first Western democracy to resort to mandatory vaccination, writes Politico.

Only supermarkets, drugstores, and pharmacies can remain open, catering, and most schools will remain closed for at least the next ten days.

People are only allowed to leave home for shopping, exercise, work, or a doctor's visit. This was decided after consultations by the government with the nine federal states, two of which, Salzburg and Upper Austria, had already taken this drastic measure, but until Christmas.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced the "difficult decisions", referring to the great human suffering. "We don't want a fifth wave". In Austria, just over 65 per cent of the population has been vaccinated. According to the Prime Minister, that is shamefully low. "Despite months of persuasion, we haven't been able to get enough people vaccinated," said Schallenberg, who accused vaccine refusers of an "attack on the health care system."

According to Politico, the low vaccination rates reflect a more widespread scepticism in German-speaking countries — in particular in regions where parties of the political far right that have campaigned against pandemic restrictions enjoy strong support.


The lockdown can be extended by ten days. Since Monday, a lockdown has been in effect in the Alpine country for people over 12 who have not been fully vaccinated. People who ignore the rules risk a fine of 1450 euros. The faithful, however, are allowed to attend church services.

By December 13th, the lockdown will be over for those who have been vaccinated and recovered. Then the 2G rule should apply again. The restrictions for unvaccinated people, therefore, continue to apply.

It is the fourth time that the country with almost 9 million inhabitants has gone into lockdown. The states of Salzburg and Upper Austria have the highest infection rates in the country, and hospitals are full of corona patients.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.