Police in This Country Now Hunt Down the Unvaccinated

Police were out in force Tuesday checking people's vaccination status on the streets of Vienna, Austria. (The Associated Press)
Austria took what its leader Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg called the "dramatic" step Monday of implementing a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people who have not contracted the COVID-19 virus.

About two million people remain unvaccinated in the European nation according to the chancellor.

It's just another of many measures taken by several EU governments to get a massive regional resurgence of the virus under control.

One Twitter user who goes by the name "Bernie's Tweets," shared video of Austria's interior minister Karl Nehammer's stern warning to the Austrian people.

"Every Person in Austria must be aware that they can be checked by the police at any time - Interior Minister. Citizens owned now by the State. Today it's vaccines, but tomorrow?" the user wrote.

Austria now prohibits people 12 and older who haven't been vaccinated or recently recovered from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as working, grocery shopping, going to school or university or for a walk—or getting vaccinated.

The lockdown will continue across Austria until Nov. 24. It doesn't apply to children under 12 because they cannot yet officially get vaccinated.

Government officials say police patrols and checks will be stepped up and unvaccinated people can be fined up to 1,450 euros ($1,660) if they violate the lockdown.

The leader of the far-right opposition Freedom Party vowed to combat the new restrictions by "all parliamentary and legal means we have available." Herbert Kickl said that "two million people are being practically imprisoned without having done anything wrong."

The BBC reports that over the weekend, hundreds of people protested outside the chancellery in the capital, Vienna, waving banners that read: "Our bodies, our freedom to decide."

One female protester said she was demonstrating "to fight for my rights". "It is totally discriminatory what is happening here," she said.

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