• By The Financial District

Austria In Lockdown, Germany Hard Hit By COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in various parts of Europe as the cold weather has affected the spread of the virus, according to a Euronews report.


Photo Insert: A COVID testing facility in Austria



Countries on the Old Continent are attempting to curb the spike through various means -- from introducing lockdowns for the unvaccinated to limiting access to certain services, or pushing for an increase in vaccination rates.


Around 60% of people in Western Europe are fully immunized against COVID-19, but only about half as many are vaccinated in Eastern Europe.



The World Health Organization reported on Tuesday (November 16) that coronavirus deaths in Europe rose 5% in the previous week, making it the only region in the world where COVID-19 deaths increased.


Here is a run-down of the latest situation in some of the European countries.


Austria


Austria is to impose a general lockdown from Monday (November 22), becoming the first EU country to take such a measure in the face of the COVID-19 resurgence.

Conservative Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg has also said that vaccination will become compulsory from February 1.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The announcement comes a few days after the country implemented a nationwide lockdown for people who are unvaccinated, which came into force last Monday (November 15).


People 12 years and older are banned from going outside except for essential activities such as work, attending classes, grocery shopping, or for a walk. The number of police patrols has been increased and those found breaking the rules can be fined up to €1,450.


Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

"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 said earlier this week.


According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), just over 64% of the population was fully vaccinated by November 19, slightly below the EU average (65.5%). Coronavirus cases have continued to rise, hitting a daily total of 15,000 on Thursday.


Banking & finance: Business man in suit and tie working on his laptop and holding his mobile phone in the office located in the financial district.

Authorities in Austria said on November 17 that travelers would need to show a negative PCR test upon entering the country. Previously, results from the cheaper lateral flow tests were allowed.


Germany will introduce tighter COVID-19 restrictions on unvaccinated citizens, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday (November 18).


Health & lifestyle: Woman running and exercising over a bridge near the financial district.

In most regions, only the vaccinated and those who have recovered from the virus will be able to access public places such as restaurants or concert halls.


The country's lower house of parliament the Bundestag voted on Thursday in favor of new restrictions to curb a surge in coronavirus cases. The plans include new restrictions for the workplace and public transport. The measures were proposed by the three parties expected to form the next coalition: the Social Democrats (SPD), the liberals, and the greens.



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