Coronavirus cases are on the rise across the EU.
As Covid cases continue to rise across Europe, Austria will return to full lockdown on Monday, with Germany likely to follow suit.
Health officials in the United Kingdom are watching with concern as the more transmissible Delta variant causes a worrying spike on the continent, reigniting fears that restrictions will be imposed here at some point.
There were 44,242 new infections and 157 deaths according to the most recent statistics.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, cases have decreased in most parts of the UK, though levels remain high.
Covid is found in one out of every 65 people, down from one out of every 60 people a week ago, and the R rate is between 0.8 and 1, indicating that infections are not on the rise again.
But, as some EU countries battle a fourth wave, Austria has declared a state of emergency, just days after unvaccinated citizens were forced to isolate.
It also plans to make vaccination mandatory for everyone starting February 1, after its leader Alexander Schallenberg warned that the lockdown would only last 20 days.
The move, which is the first in Europe this winter, is in response to rising case numbers and one of the lowest vaccination rates on the continent.
Other European countries, on the other hand, are enacting restrictions as the number of cases rises.
“We don’t want a fifth wave,” Chancellor Schallenberg told the governors of Austria’s nine provinces after meeting them.
He admitted that they would have preferred to avoid mandatory vaccinations, but blamed a lack of information on “too many political forces, flimsy vaccination opponents, and fake news.”
According to the most recent Austrian figures, 990.7 cases per 100,000 people were reported in the previous week, and health minister Wolfgang Muckstein said a lockdown was a “last resort.”
In a population of less than nine million people, a record 15,809 cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
Austrians will work from home, non-essential stores will close, and only face-to-face learning will be available in schools.
The lockdown will last until December 12th, after which it will be reviewed.
Germany, on the other hand, is considering another shutdown after agreeing to limit unvaccinated people in areas with high hospital admissions.
The parliament yesterday approved rules requiring people to show proof of jabs, negative tests, or recovery from Covid when using buses, trains, or at work, in a move that will affect 12 of the country’s 16 states.
Eduard Heger, the Prime Minister of Slovakia.
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