Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise
Truthfulness: Half True
Austria will impose a nationwide lockdown for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming the first country in the world to do so, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday.Claim Publisher and Date: BNO News on 2021-11-12
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday that Austria will impose a nationwide lockdown for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. This follows an incremental government plan set in place in September, which states that a lockdown of unvaccinated Austrians must be implemented when 30% of ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Austria has the lowest vaccination rate of any Western European country apart from Liechtenstein, according to Reuters. Obviously, the restrictions imposed against those that refused to get vaccinated have caused an uproar of declarations on social media who believe this move is ethically unsound. For example, the UK-based "Know Your Human Rights" tweeted, "Austria goes "full tyrant" announcing "lockdown for unjabbed only" with random checks. This is countrywide state-imposed imprisonment of non-criminal, healthy people. Utterly disgusting and brazen abuse of #HumanRights."
According to BNO News, this lockdown of the unvaccinated makes Austria the first country in the world to do. However, we find this statement a bit misleading and may be seen as hyperbole. There are currently restrictions implemented in countries around the world that restrict the movement of those that have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine. For example, in France, the government has declared that a “health pass” (meaning that individuals have to prove they are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or have recently recovered from the virus) is necessary if they want to access cafes, restaurants, cinemas, museums and theaters. Denmark has also ordered its people to present a pass in the form of a smartphone app when they enter bars, restaurants and other public places. It is also considering fast-track legislation to require a digital "corona pass" for employers, according to Reuters. In China, some local governments have reportedly said students would not be allowed back to school after their summer break unless their entire family is fully vaccinated, according to BBC News.
Lockdowns targeting the unvaccinated are becoming more common. In Victoria, Australia, citizens were allowed to emerge from a lockdown Oct. 29 if they were fully vaccinated. It’s expected that the restrictions on the unvaccinated will remain in place through 2022, The Guardian says. In New South Wales, lockdowns were lifted on Oct. 11, though unvaccinated people were barred from most public activities until Dec. 1, according to Reuters. Russia, currently in the midst of its worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic, has issued a national stay-at-home order for the unvaccinated, but only those 60 and older.