(CNN) – Austria will implement confinement measures for all those over the age of 12 who are not fully vaccinated against covid-19 from Monday, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced.
About 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in the European Union, where cases are increasing. Under the measures announced Sunday, the unvaccinated are ordered to stay home, except for a few limited reasons; the rules will be watched by agents who control those who are outside on the spot.
The lockdown plan that was agreed in September required unvaccinated Austrians to face a stay-at-home order once 30% of intensive care beds are occupied by covid-19 patients. Unvaccinated people are already excluded from entertainment venues, restaurants, hairdressers and other parts of public life in Austria.
Schallenberg told reporters on Friday that the government should give the measure a “green light” this weekend. “The goal is clear: we want a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated to be given the green light on Sunday,” Schallenberg told a news conference in Innsbruck. He had previously called the country’s vaccination rate “shamefully low.”
From Austria to the rest of central Europe
His warning came as a wave of COVID-19 infections ripped through central Europe. A three-week partial lockdown was announced in the Netherlands late Friday, Reuters reported, as health officials recorded a rapid increase in cases.
“Tonight we bring a very unpleasant message with very unsavory and far-reaching measures,” Netherlands Acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised speech, ordering nonessential restaurants, supermarkets and retailers to close early and reimposing social distancing measures. “The virus is everywhere and must be fought everywhere.”
Norway also announced new measures on Friday, while people in the German capital Berlin are bracing for new restrictions that will take effect on Monday.
Wave of covid-19 hits the region
Schallenberg’s tone showed the frustration that various European governments have expressed towards unvaccinated sectors of society, as a wave of COVID-19 infections hit the region.
In neighboring Germany, ministers have stepped up their rhetoric towards those who are not vaccinated. Berlin announced Wednesday that it will ban unvaccinated people from attending indoor dinners, bars, gyms, hair salons and cinemas starting next week.
Vaccination rates vary in Europe, but decrease towards the east of the continent.
Russia has hit a new daily record for COVID-19 deaths, with 1,241 recorded in the previous 24 hours, the country’s coronavirus task force said on Saturday. With the latest figures, the country has reached a total of 254,167 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, German officials warned on Thursday that the country remains in the grip of a “very worrying” spike in COVID-19 cases and advised residents to “urgently cancel or avoid larger events if possible, but also that cut down on all other unnecessary contacts. “
According to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s seven-day incidence rate has risen to 263.7 cases per 100,000 people, up from 169.9 cases reported a week ago.
The Norwegian government said on Friday it would reintroduce “some more national measures” to “reduce the infection. [de covid-19]”in the country. The Minister of Health, Ingvild Kjerkol, said that” unvaccinated people over 18 years of age, who live with someone who is infected with the virus, will have a duty to be tested, “adding that the obligation it would apply as of November 17.
The government will also inform municipalities to begin testing unvaccinated health workers twice a week, with a clear message that they should wear a mask, according to the statement.
For the second week in a row, Europe was the only region in the world where cases and deaths were found to be increasing in the World Health Organization’s weekly global report.
Between Nov. 1-7, there was a 1% increase in new weekly cases, according to the update, and just over 3.1 million new cases were reported. The region also reported a 10% increase in new deaths during the last week.
CNN’s Rob Picheta, Nadine Schmidt, and Anna Chernova and Duarte Mendonca contributed to this report.