The government of Austria has decided to implement a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated citizens as Corona cases continue to rise in the country.

According to the Associated Press, the new restrictions will prohibit unvaccinated residents who are 12 years old or older from leaving their homes unless it is for work purposes, grocery shopping, physical activities, or getting vaccinated.

The officials of the Austrian government said that Police presence will also be stepped up during the lockdown and unvaccinated residents will be fined up to 1,450 Euros ($1,660) if they violate rules.

AP reported that this comes as Austria has seen a rise in virus infections and the increased pressure it is putting on hospitals.

On Sunday, the country reported 849.2 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous week.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said in a radio interview that the new lockdown is a “dramatic step” for the country, saying the goal is “to reduce contact between the unvaccinated and vaccinated to a minimum, and also contact between the unvaccinated.”

Schallenberg told Oe1 radio that my aim is very clearly to get the unvaccinated to get themselves vaccinated and not to lock down the vaccinated. In the long term, the way out of this vicious circle we are in – and it is a vicious circle, we are stumbling from wave to lockdown, and that can’t carry on ad infinitum – is only vaccination.

Schallenberg added that it’s “shamefully low” that 65 per cent of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against the virus.

Austrian health minister Wolfgang Mueckstein told state media he wanted to discuss more on future measures, saying a proposed limit on all residents going out at night is currently on the table.

According to AP, the lockdown will be imposed until November 24th.

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