Czech Republic follows Austria in imposing lockdown for unvaccinated as an infection charges surge

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The Czech Republic has introduced an efficient lockdown for the unvaccinated, following the instance set by neighbouring Austria and the German area of Bavaria.

Beneath shock new guidelines introduced Wednesday, unvaccinated Czechs will be unable to attend public occasions or enter eating places, pubs and different providers, from subsequent week.

Solely proof of accomplished vaccination or earlier Covid-19 an infection inside the final six months will probably be accepted, placing an finish to the period of mass precautionary Covid testing within the nation.

The change will come into impact from Monday after approval by the federal government tomorrow. Youngsters beneath 18 will probably be exempt from the rule, that means they’ll nonetheless current Covid assessments as proof of non-infectivity.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš claimed the brand new guidelines are obligatory as a result of “the one resolution is vaccination”, saying the vast majority of Covid sufferers in Czech hospitals are unvaccinated.

The transfer is sure to be controversial in a rustic with comparatively excessive ranges of vaccine scepticism: lower than two-thirds of the Czech inhabitants is totally vaccinated.

Certainly, few predicted a lockdown for the unvaccinated forward of right this moment’s announcement, regardless of quickly rising case numbers.

But it appears the federal government has lastly been compelled to behave after the Czech Republic’s highest ever variety of circumstances in a single day was additionally introduced Wednesday, with greater than 22,400 infections confirmed.

Nearly 70 per cent of the brand new circumstances recorded had been in individuals who haven’t but had a single dose of a Covid vaccine.

Spiralling case numbers are additionally bringing again recollections of a broadly criticised stress-free of lockdown measures in the course of the festive season final 12 months, which was blamed for a subsequent spike of circumstances and deaths after the New Yr.

It was hoped vaccination would cease the worst results of the virus repeating themselves this time round, however worryingly, Covid-related deaths at the moment are additionally considerably growing within the nation.

A complete of 95 Covid deaths had been confirmed on Wednesday – a a lot increased incidence price than has been seen since reopening within the UK, on condition that the Czech inhabitants is six instances smaller.

The brand new measures are subsequently clearly supposed as a last-resort step to encourage extra individuals to get vaccinated. The Czech authorities has turn into more and more involved about low vaccine protection in current weeks, additionally launching a visceral promotional marketing campaign for vaccination presenting photos of lifeless our bodies from Covid wards.

The incoming Czech administration has complained concerning the sudden implementation of the brand new measures, arguing they need to have been consulted as they’re because of substitute Babiš’s outgoing authorities later this month.

However Babiš demanded they “cease enjoying politics” and as an alternative “become involved within the resolution”.