Nicola, 40, and Fiona, 37, have one last tip before preparing for mandatory vaccinations and lockdown.
We celebrate our last night freely, says Nicholas, founder of the tourism industry.
The light is dim, jazz is on, and the bold red interior gives the group of friends the bar atmosphere they need right now. It might be the last party in town in a long time.
On Monday, Austria imposed a 10-day lockdown on unvaccinated people. They are only allowed to go out shopping, go to the doctor, work or go to school.
Nicola and many others believe there will be a closure for everyone, either from Monday or possibly from Saturday.
– My mother is a doctor. Intensive care units are struggling, and they must filter patients who will receive treatment. It seems like a lockdown for everyone is what’s needed, says Nicholas.
Behind the counter is Robert Kokokasonko (20) in his straw hat mixing American cocktails. He is among the unvaccinated, and tests himself every day to be able to function. As an unvaccinated person, he can only go to work, to the doctor or buy food, otherwise he will be at home.
It’s rude and unfair, he says of shutting down the unvaccinated.
He believes that the government should find other solutions.
Why are you not vaccinated?
I’m not a fan of vaccines. I think everyone should be able to decide whether or not they want to be vaccinated.
But are vaccines that will save us?
– Yes, they say so, but vaccinated people still get sick.
bar Roberto in central Vienna is not even half full on a Thursday night. Bars can remain until 4 am in Vienna, despite the spread of Corona infection in recent days.
The Friends Group says that during the Corona period, the government has made it a norm to make small drops around the new measures. Now everyone is interpreting it as if there are very strict new measures, such as lockdown and mandatory vaccination.
– How do you see a possible new closure?
– I’m very disappointed. We’ve heard for a long time that vaccines will save us, but then we’ll be locked inside again, says Fiona, who works in the sales department.
She and Nicholas were fully vaccinated. She has no understanding of who is not vaccinated.
Austria’s intervention measures against non-vaccinators made headlines around the world.
– We’re even in the headlines in Brazil, says Nicholas.
The debate in Austria revolves around compulsory vaccination. Nikola should force people to vaccinate.
– Yes I think so. This is about the whole community. It’s true that these vaccines haven’t been tested in years, but the point is, that’s the only way society can continue to function, says Nicholas.
On the streets of Vienna decorated with Christmas, people rush. If you are going to a store, in some places you will be required to have a Corona passport. Mouthpieces are mandatory inside stores. Not the usual surgical sanitary napkins, but FFP2 sanitary pads. A more solid bond material that resembles a bird’s beak.
The mood is weak in Austria. The number of guests in restaurants and bars is less than usual. Hotels are not getting the reservations they were hoping for. And infection rates recorded a record high in recent days, reaching 14,000 injuries per day. Up to 40 people die every day.
The police were given the task of verifying that the suspension of non-vaccinators should be followed. Violation of the rules can result in a fine of up to 1,450 euros, which is equivalent to 14,346 Norwegian kroner.
Experts and politicians are looking for actions that can help. One of them is mandatory vaccination, an interventional measure. Many infection control experts are calling for a complete shutdown. The compromise might be a nightly curfew. On Friday, the government will announce new measures.
The third is not immune
Austria is among the worst vaccines in Europe, if one ignores some Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Romania. Just under 64 percent had fully vaccinated.
In order to vaccinate more people, two types of Corona passports have been introduced. The 2G version only provides access to restaurants and bars, among other things. To get this type of corona pass, you must be fully immune or have recently had COVID-19.
“Doctors and health professionals from all over Austria have told me about the tragic situation in hospitals and intensive care units,” President Alexander Van der Bellen said on Twitter on Thursday.
He warned that healthcare professionals, who struggle daily to survive coronary heart disease, are working as hard as they can handle.
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