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Austria locking down the unvaccinated

Carina, a yoga teacher in Vienna, is not vaccinated against Covid-19 and wants to remain that way.  So she is now under lockdown, like around two million other unvaccinated Austrians. She is only allowed to leave her home for essential reasons like work or shopping for food, and is barred from cafés and restaurants. So I met her in a Vienna park, where she is allowed to take exercise.  Carina says she doesn't understand the rationale behind the lockdown and that it makes her feel sad. "I was walking by some cafes this morning," she told me. "It's a bit strange to look inside and to know that I couldn't go in. It makes you feel really excluded, and ostracised."  "I'm one of these people that is made into the enemy," she said. "And that doesn't sit well."

"I don't want people to get sick. I am careful. I get tested. I'm not at very great risk [from Covid-19] and I feel like it's a very personal decision. I understand people who do get vaccinated and when people don't want to get vaccinated." There have been demonstrations in several parts of the country in protest against the lockdown.  Police say they'll carry out random spot checks on people in public places and fine anyone who can't show a certification of vaccination or recovery. 

Around 65% of Austria's population is fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. The country is currently seeing the highest rate of daily infections for Covid-19 since the pandemic began. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg says the government was forced to act because of the surge in new infections.

He said the vaccination rate was "shamefully low" and would "keep us trapped in a vicious circle, from one lockdown to the next".

Since the measures tightened, more Austrians have been getting jabbed. Long lines have formed outside one Vienna vaccination centre. Some were coming for booster shots, others for their first injections.

BBC News

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