The move prohibits unvaccinated individuals older than age 12 from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as working, grocery shopping, going for a walk—or getting vaccinated.
“It’s our job as the government of Austria to protect the people,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told reporters in Vienna on Sunday. “Therefore we decided that starting Monday … there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated.”
The lockdown affects about 2 million people in the Alpine country of 8.9 million people, news agency APA reported. It doesn’t apply to children under the age of 12 because they cannot yet officially get vaccinated.
The lockdown will initially last for 10 days and police have been asked to check people outside to make sure they are vaccinated against COVID-19, Schallenberg said.
Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe: only around 65 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.