HomeEuropeAustria’s vaccine mandate to apply from February 1

Austria’s vaccine mandate to apply from February 1

Austria will make coronavirus vaccination mandatory from February, the government confirmed Sunday.

Presenting the final version of a draft law at a press conference on Sunday, Chancellor Karl Nehammer sought to reassure Austrians that “this is not about the battle of vaccinated versus unvaccinated” but rather to underscore that “vaccination is the best guarantee for us to live together in freedom.”

The mandate — first announced in November — will apply to Austrian residents aged 18 and older, with exemptions for pregnant women and people who cannot receive the vaccine on medical grounds. An earlier draft wanted to make vaccination compulsory from age 14.

The law takes effect on February 1 but police checks won’t be carried out until March 15. Unvaccinated people then face a penalty of around €600 and up to €3,600, Der Standard reported.

The government plans to set another deadline after March and send out reminders to the unvaccinated, who may then face another round of fines.

In total, those not complying with the mandate can be fined up to four times a year. A fine will be dropped if the recipient gets vaccinated within two weeks of receiving the penalty notice.

Austria’s parliament has still to vote Thursday on the vaccination mandate, but the law is expected to pass. About 73.5 percent of Austrians are fully vaccinated, slightly above the EU average.



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