Since February 4, the mandate to impose full and enhanced vaccination of Austrian citizens has come into force in the country. As a result, President Alexander van der Bellen signed the new law, which requires that all adults residing in the country must be vaccinated or face a fine of 600 euros, effective March 15.
With the exception of certain groups, such as pregnant women, those with health conditions affected by vaccines, and those who previously had COVID-19, the rest are required to be vaccinated, TheSchengen.com reports.
From March 15, authorities will start random checks on vaccination certificates, including at traffic stops. Moreover, according to this vaccine mandate, which is due to expire on January 31, 2024, people can be fined up to four times a year, with fines increasing up to 3,400 euros.
>> Austria limits the validity of vaccination certificates to 180 days from February 1
According to The Times, the Austrian government plans to create an official register of all who have been vaccinated and give those who have been fined vaccination appointments, which could lead to further fines.
However, the member states of Europe have adopted different approaches towards this issue. For example, Germany, which has some of the highest vaccinations in the European Union, along with Austria, intends to put in place stricter measures. On the other hand, Denmark has ended many of the restrictions imposed on COVID-19 thanks to its high vaccinations.
However, while the authorities decided to tighten COVID-19 rules, they have scrapped the requirement for pre-entry testing, which had been previously imposed as a precaution.
“From February 1, 2022, the two-dose vaccinations are valid only for 180 days in Austria (excluding: 210 days for those under 18). However, for ENTERING, 270 days remain valid. The booster vaccination is valid for 270 days in both scenarios. Austrian authorities explained.
According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 72.8 percent of the Austrian population received the primary vaccination, about 2.3 percent more than the average intake of the EU/EEA population. Furthermore, 54.1 percent received a booster dose.
Similarly, vaccination rates in Germany are among the highest in the European Union, with 74 percent fully vaccinated and 52.8 percent receiving the extra dose.
On the other hand, Denmark has an average of 81.5% of the population who have been fully vaccinated, while 83.2% have been partially vaccinated, and 61.2% have received the booster vaccine.
In addition, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that 231,697 positive cases were recorded in Austria in the past seven days, in addition to 84 deaths. Moreover, since the epidemic began, 19,963 positive cases and 13,671 deaths have been recorded.