“To put it bluntly, we have earmarked up to 1 billion euro for the vaccination lottery which is based on reward and incentive,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said at a news conference hours before the vote in parliament. “I believe it’s totally justified to spend this money.”
Cases of Covid-19 in Austria have soared to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. El miércoles, Austrian authorities recorded 27,667 new infections in 24 horas, according to data from the Austria’s Health Ministry.
The vaccine mandate legislation was
, sin embargo, proposed in November as officials attempted to stem Austria’s fifth wave
En el momento, the country had some of the lowest vaccination rates in the EU
. The country’s immunization rate has since increased to
71.7%, higher than the EU average
The new law will last until January 31, 2024 and will be implemented in stages, according to the health ministry.
Every Austrian household will receive a letter explaining the mandate from February 1, when the law goes into effect, until March 15, the day compliance checks begin.
Austrian officials will be able to search a national database that lists the vaccination status of every resident, or the date that they must be vaccinated by.
Unvaccinated people will eventually face a maximum fine of 3,600 euro ($ 4,000) for up to four times a year if they are not on the vaccine register by their assigned vaccination date.
Authorities can waive the fine if a person gets vaccinated within two weeks of receiving the penalty notice.
The law is among the most punitive measures rolled out by Western lawmakers in recent months as they attempt to curb the socioeconomic burdens of the pandemic.
France is also cracking down on the unvaccinated. The French government recently passed a bill that requires people to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated in order to access a wide range of everyday activities, such as visiting restaurants and bars and taking long-distance public transport between regions.
Italy has mandated that everyone above the age of 50 be vaccinated or risk a fine, and Germany requires anyone who has not received their booster to show negative Covid-19 test results before entering public venues.