Austria is now the first country in Europe to make it mandatory to receive a COVID-19 vaccine!
Here is what you need to know…
COVID-19 Vaccine Is Now Mandatory In Austria!
On Friday, 4 February 2022, President Alexander Van der Bellen signed into law a national COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults in Austria.
The new law makes it mandatory for all adults in Austria to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or get fined up to 3,600 euros (US$4,120).
This makes Austria the first country in Europe to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, but not the first in the world.
Ecuador was the first country to make it compulsory for all individuals 5 years and above to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Austria : The Details
Huge Monetary Fines
Unvaccinated people in Austria are currently banned from restaurants, sports and cultural venues, but they are now liable to be fined from 600 to 3,600 euros (US$687 to US$4,120).
Unvaccinated adults in Austria will be given time until 14 March to comply with the vaccine mandate, with compliance checks beginning on 15 March 2022.
This new law will last until 31 January 2024, and unvaccinated people can receive the maximum fine of €3,600 (US$4,000) up to four times a year. These fines can be waived if the individuals get vaccinated within 2 weeks.
Exemptions To Vaccine Mandate
The new law allows for certain individuals to receive an exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine :
- Pregnant mothers,
- Individuals who cannot be vaccinated without endangering their health,
- Individuals who recently recovered from COVID – this is a temporary exemption that only lasts 180 days from the date they received their first positive PCR test result.
Implemented In 3 Stages
The Austrian vaccine mandate will be implemented in three stages :
- All households will be informed of the new law by 15 March through an official letter delivered by post.
- Austrian police will start spot-checking people’s vaccination status, and issuing fines of €600, which can increase to €3,600 for non-compliance.
- Those who refuse to show proof of vaccination by a certain undetermined deadline will be automatically fined.
This vaccine mandate in Austria is on the other end of the spectrum from Denmark’s decision to remove all COVID-19 restrictions.
81% of Danes 5 years and older have been fully-vaccinated, but Austria has a pretty high vaccination too – about 75% of the eligible population has been fully-vaccinated.
However, the government argues that mandatory vaccination is the only way to further increase vaccination rates, especially in certain regions like Upper Austria where fewer than 60% of residents are fully-vaccinated.
Other countries will be closely watching to see which of these EU countries made the right decision…
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