This week, Austria made Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for all citizens aged 18 and over, which has sparked protests across the country.
Austrian citizens could be fined from €600 (£503) to €3,600 (£3,023) for failing to comply with the mandate, punishments which are set to come into effect from mid-March, according to reports from Austrian paper Kleine Zeitung.
From March 15th, police will start verifying the vaccination status of people they stop in their regular patrols. Following this, more thorough checks will begin at a later stage in the third phase once the vaccination register is up and running.
“I hope that we will not need Phase 3 at all. If (health) experts say that in their assessment it is not necessary, if constitutional lawyers say it is not proportionate, Phase 3 will not happen,” Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein told ORF radio hours before the upper house passed the bill by 47 votes to 12.
The mandate is set to expire in January 2024, and Austria is the first European country to introduce such tyrannical measures for all citizens. We have already seen similar compulsory measures be introduced for the elderly, vulnerable, and medical staff in other countries around the world, including Austria.
There are some groups that will not have to comply with the mandate, including pregnant women and those who are medically exempt.
Protests have been ongoing since December 2021, where thousands of people took to the streets to fight against the strict covid restrictions and the vaccine mandate, with many arguing that there should be freedom of choice.
The country’s domestic intelligence chief Omar Haijawi-Pirchner has labelled protesters as “right-wing extremists” who are “networking,” which is “very scary.”
It is believed that Germany is set to follow in the footsteps of Austria as the country has begun debating a potential vaccine mandate.
Germany revealed that it had missed its target to have 80% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose of the covid jab by the end of January.
Statistics from Monday revealed that 75.8% of Germany’s 83 million residents have received at least one shot, 74% are fully vaccinated and 52.8% have also received a booster.
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