Austria’s government has reportedly said it will impose criminal fines as high as €3600 on citizens who refuses to get vaccinated.
Earlier today health minister Wolfgang Mückstein and constitutional affairs minister Karoline Edtstadler revealed details of the fines as part of the country’s new vaccine mandate which will make injections compulsory from February onwards, the FT first reported.
Women who are pregnant, those who cannot receive the vaccine on medical grounds and children under the age of 14 will be exempt under the new rules.
Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe with around 66 per cent of its population fully vaccinated. Amongst its population of 9m people approximately 1.4m are yet to receive a first dose.
As a result the country has experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks with deaths also rising. Austria has reported over 46,000 new cases of Coronavirus this week and 501 new deaths.
From 01 February mandatory doses of the vaccine will be administered on a continuous basis with a government register created in order to monitor compliance.
In the weeks since the mandatory vaccine scheme was announced in late November thousands of Austrians have taken to the streets in protest.
All of the country’s four largest parties support the proposals with the far right populist Freedom Party the only one to oppose it, meaning the proposals are likely to come into force as planned.