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InvestmentsAustria locks down unvaccinated as COVID cases rise across Europe By Reuters

Austria locks down unvaccinated as COVID cases rise across Europe By Reuters


© Reuters. People stroll previous a vaccination level amidst the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak, as Austria’s authorities imposes a lockdown on people who find themselves not totally vaccinated, in Vienna, Austria November 14, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

By Francois Murphy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria slapped a lockdown on individuals unvaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus on Monday as winter approaches and infections rise across Europe, with Germany contemplating tighter curbs and Britain increasing its booster programme to youthful adults.

Europe has once more grow to be the epicentre of the pandemic, prompting some international locations to think about re-imposing restrictions within the run-up to Christmas and stirring debate over whether or not vaccines alone are sufficient to tame COVID-19.

COVID-19 spreads extra simply within the winter months when individuals collect inside.

Europe final week accounted for greater than half of the common 7-day infections globally and about half of newest deaths, in line with a Reuters tally, the best ranges since April final 12 months when the virus was at its preliminary peak in Italy.

Governments and firms are apprehensive the extended pandemic will derail a fragile financial restoration.

Austria’s conservative-led authorities stated that about two million individuals within the nation of roughly 9 million had been now solely allowed to go away their properties for a restricted variety of causes like travelling to work or searching for necessities.

But there’s widespread scepticism, together with amongst conservatives and the police, about how the lockdown could be enforced – it will likely be laborious to confirm, for instance, whether or not somebody is on their method to work, which is allowed, or going to buy non-essential gadgets, which isn’t.

“My aim is very clear: to get the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, not to lock up the unvaccinated,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg informed ORF radio as he defined the lockdown, which was introduced on Sunday.

The goal is to counter a surge in infections to file ranges fuelled by a full vaccination price of solely round 65% of the inhabitants, one of many lowest in western Europe.

‘YOU CAN SEE I’M VERY WORRIED’

Germany’s federal authorities and leaders of Germany’s 16 states are attributable to talk about new pandemic measures this week.

Three German state well being ministers urged events negotiating to kind a brand new authorities to lengthen the states’ energy to implement stricter measures such as lockdowns or faculty closures as the seven-day COVID incidence price hit file highs.

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged unvaccinated individuals to rethink their determination in a video message on Saturday.

“Difficult weeks lie ahead of us, and you can see that I am very worried,” Merkel stated, talking in her weekly video podcast. “I urgently ask everyone who has not yet been vaccinated: please reconsider.”

France, the Netherlands and plenty of international locations in Eastern Europe are additionally experiencing a surge in infections.

Britain is to increase its COVID-19 booster vaccine rollout to individuals between 40 and 49, officers stated on Monday, to spice up waning immunity forward of the colder winter months.

Currently all individuals over 50, those that are clinically susceptible and frontline well being staff are eligible for boosters, and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation stated the rollout could be prolonged additional.

China, the place the coronavirus was first recognized in late 2019, is battling the unfold of its largest COVID-19 outbreak brought on by the Delta variant, in line with numbers introduced on Monday, with travellers from the northeastern metropolis of Dalian the place infections have grown quicker than elsewhere within the nation topic to powerful quarantine guidelines in close by areas.

Chinese authorities stated 32 new domestically transmitted infections with confirmed signs had been reported on Sunday, most of which had been in Dalian.

The numbers in China are tiny in comparison with elsewhere on the earth, however Communist Party rulers in Beijing have taken a zero-tolerance strategy to infections, clamping down on clusters.

Israel stated on Sunday that youngsters aged 5 to 11 could be eligible for vaccination and {that a} beginning date for the marketing campaign could be made public inside days.

The determination got here after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use of Pfizer (NYSE:)’s and BioNTech’s vaccine for the age group at a 10-microgram dose.

(Additonal reporting by Josephine Mason and Alistair Smout in London, Emilio Parodi in Milan and Victoria Waldersee and Maria Sheahan in Berlin; Writing by Nick Macfie, Editing by William Maclean)

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