Thousands of protesters gathered in Vienna on Saturday as the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown starting Monday to stem the tide.Infection
The far-right opposition Freedom Party was among those who called for protests and vowed to fight new sanctions.
Austria’s lockdown will begin early Monday. Initially it will last for 10 days and then it will be reviewed again. It will last a maximum of 20 days, officials said. Most shops will close and cultural events will be canceled. People will only be able to leave their homes for specific reasons, including buying groceries, going to the doctor or exercising.
The Austrian government also said that the Alpine nation would make vaccination mandatory from February 1.
As the march began from the Helden Platz in Vienna, thousands of protesters gathered in the main square. About 1,300 police officers were on duty. They used loudspeakers to tell protesters that masks were needed, but most did not.
Slogan “Resistance!” And blowing whistles, the protesters slowly moved down the inner ring road of the city. Many waved Austrian flags and made fun of government leaders such as Chancellor Alexander Schleinberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Mekstein.
Some wore doctor’s scrubs. Others wore tinfoil hats. Most of the symptoms are centered on the newly announced vaccine mandate: “My body, my choice,” read one. “We stand up for our children!” Another said.
Freedom Party leader Herbert Kill, who announced earlier this week that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had to live alone at home, appeared via video. He denounced what he called “biased” actions by the government, which “thinks it should think and decide for us.”
Vaccination in Austria is one of the lowest rates in Western Europe, and hospitals in the worst-affected states have warned that their intensive care units are reaching their potential. The average daily death has tripled in recent weeks. Out of 8.9 million people in Austria, 66% have not been fully vaccinated.
Shellenberg apologized to all vaccinated people on Friday night, saying it was not appropriate for them to suffer losses under the new lockdown restrictions when they did everything they could to help control the virus.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” he told Public Broadcaster ORF.
Demonstrations against the virus were also expected in other European countries, including Switzerland, Croatia and Italy. جمعہ کی رات کو، ڈچ پولیس نے مظاہرین پر فائرنگ کی اور 7 افراد زخمی ہوئے جو روٹرڈیم میں COVID-19 پابندیوں کے خلاف مظاہرے کے ارد گرد پھوٹ پڑے۔