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Austrian chancellor says country weighing lockdown just for unvaccinated

Austria's Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg talks to journalists as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)
Austria's Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg talks to journalists as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)

Austria’s chancellor steps up threats of lockdown measures for unvaccinated people, as new coronavirus cases in the Alpine country are soaring.

During a visit to Bregenz in western Austria, Schallenberg says that a lockdown for the unvaccinated is “probably unavoidable,” and that the unvaccinated face an “uncomfortable” winter and Christmas, reports the Austria Press Agency.

“I don’t see why two-thirds should lose their freedom because one-third is dithering,” Schallenberg says. “For me, it is clear that there should be no lockdown for the vaccinated out of solidarity for the unvaccinated.”

Schallenberg says authorities would consider a vaccine mandate for some professional groups. He added that the country’s vaccination rate is “shamefully low.” About 65% of the population is fully inoculated.

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