Austria closed its shops, restaurants, and Christmas markets on Monday, returning to lockdown in the most severe Covid-19 ban seen in Western Europe in months.
Thousands of people rushed to the streets to protest the decision, with some blaming the government for not doing more to prevent the latest coronavirus outbreak from sweeping Europe.
Austria’s 8.9 million inhabitants will not be allowed to leave their homes until Monday morning, except to go to work, shop for necessities, and exercise.
From February 1, the Alpine nation will impose a broad vaccine mandate, joining the Vatican as the only places in Europe to do so.
Fighting a rising epidemic almost two years after Covid-19 first appeared, numerous African countries have restored restrictions, with unvaccinated persons being barred from places like restaurants and bars.
However, no European Union country has had to re-enter a nationwide lockdown since vaccines were readily available.
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