The lockdown plan, agreed in September, called for unvaccinated Austrians to face a stay-at-home order when 30% of intensive care beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients. In Austria, non-vaccinated people are already excluded from entertainment venues, restaurants, hairdressers and other parts of public life.
Schellenberg told reporters on Friday that the government should be given the “green light” for the move later this week. “The objective is clear: we want Sunday to be given the green light for a nationwide lockdown,” Schalenberg said at a news conference in Innsbruck. He had earlier called the country’s vaccination rate “embarrassingly low”.
“Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message, with very long and far-reaching measures,” Dutch Acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised address, calling for an early closure of restaurants, supermarkets and non-essential retailers and social distancing. Ordered to re-implement the distancing measures. , “The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere.”
Norway also announced new measures on Friday, while people in the German capital Berlin prepare for new restrictions to go into effect on Monday.
Schellenberg’s tone echoed the dismay that many European governments have expressed towards uninfected pockets of society as the wave of Covid-19 infections spread through the region.
Vaccine rates vary across Europe but decrease steadily on the east side of the continent.
Russia has set a new daily record for 1,241 recorded Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s coronavirus task force said on Saturday. With the latest figures, there have been a total of 254,167 deaths in the country since the start of the pandemic.
German authorities meanwhile warned on Thursday that the country was in the grip of a ‘very worrying’ increase in COVID-19 cases and advised residents “to immediately cancel or postpone major events if possible, but not others”. Also to minimize all unnecessary contacts.”
The country’s seven-day incidence rate has risen to 263.7 cases per 100,000 people – from 169.9 cases reported a week earlier, according to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute.
Norway’s government said on Friday it would re-introduce “some more national measures” to “reduce” [Covid-19] infection in the country”.
According to the statement, the government will advise municipalities to start testing unvaccinated health workers twice a week, with a clear message that they should wear masks.
Europe was the only region in the world to see an increase in cases and deaths for the second week in a row, according to the World Health Organization’s weekly global report.
Between November 1 and November 7, new weekly cases rose 1%, the update said, and just over 3.1 million new cases were reported. The region reported a 10% increase in new deaths over the past week.
CNN’s Rob Pichetta, Nadine Schmidt and Anna Chernova and Duarte Mendonca contributed to this report.