Salzburg and Upper Austria go into lockdown


People stand in a queue in front of a vaccination bus in Salzburg. There is already a lockdown for unvaccinated people.

(Photo: dpa)

Salzburg The two Austrian regions with the highest corona numbers will go into a general lockdown next week. This was announced by the Prime Ministers of Salzburg and Upper Austria, Wilfried Haslauer and Thomas Stelzer, on Thursday. The conservative state leaders, like Chancellor and ÖVP party colleague Alexander Schallenberg, had previously spoken out against severe restrictions on vaccinated people.

“We don’t have much leeway, not to say: We have very, very little leeway,” argued Stelzer on Thursday in Linz with regard to the full hospitals. The politician spoke out in favor of a uniform approach throughout Austria.

If that were not possible, the regional measures would definitely come into force for several weeks. “We see no alternative to a lockdown beginning next week,” Haslauer told the APA news agency. Details about the restrictions in the two federal states on the Bavarian border should be announced during the day.

On Thursday, the number of new infections within 24 hours in Austria reached a record of 15,145. Almost 40 percent of the new cases were registered in Upper Austria and Salzburg. With seven-day incidences around 1600, the two regions are well above the nationwide value of 989.

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A lockdown for unvaccinated people has been in effect throughout Austria since Monday. Whether additional nationwide measures will follow for the entire population will be decided in talks between the federal and state governments on Friday.

Opposition leader calls for nationwide lockdown

Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) had recently spoken out in favor of a general night-time exit restriction, which, however, has so far been rejected by Chancellor Schallenberg. The ÖVP fears that such measures will reduce the willingness to receive initial and booster vaccinations again. However, the government is considering a general vaccination requirement.

The social democratic opposition leader and epidemiologist Pamela Rendi-Wagner called on Thursday for a nationwide lockdown for at least two weeks if the situation did not defuse within 48 hours. A compulsory vaccination could not break the current wave of infections, but work in the long term. That’s why you have to think about it.

More: Stiko advocates Corona booster vaccinations for everyone over the age of 18


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