The Parliament of Austria definitively approved this Thursday (3) the law that requires vaccination against Covid-19 for all residents of the country of legal age and imposes fines of up to 3,600 euros (approximately R$ 960 , 8 thousand) to those who do not follow the rule.
The Bundesrat, the territorial representation chamber, approved the law with an absolute majority and the support of four of the five parties represented, as it did on the day 19, when it was voted on in Congress. Only the ultranationalist and anti-vaccine FPÖ objected.
The government, formed by the conservative Austrian People’s Party and the environmentalist Greens, justified the law with the need to protect the country from new waves and variants of the coronavirus.
Pregnant women, people for whom the vaccine poses a risk and those who have recovered from the disease in the last
days are exempt from mandatory vaccination.
Vaccination will also not automatically be required to work, although employers may include this condition. Those who are unemployed and refuse a job because they have not been vaccinated may lose their right to unemployment benefits.
The rule makes it clear that vaccination cannot be “imposed by the use of force” and limits punishments to financial fines, ranging from 480 to 3.6 thousand euros.
Once approved by both chambers of Parliament, all that remains is the signature of the president, Alexander van der Bellen, and the official publication for entry into force, scheduled for 8 February. The police will not start enforcing the rule before March.
The Austrian government argues that to fight the pandemic and protect the health system, a high percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated.
Currently, only 68, 8% of the population has an active vaccination passport, after the government reduced its validity from nine to six months after the second dose.
Experts believe that record levels of infections due to the omicron variant are already peaking in Austria.
The authorities announced that in February it will be withdrawn the veto that prohibits bia unvaccinated from entering non-essential stores and dining establishments. Only the local authorities in Vienna decided to maintain the ban on unvaccinated people in bars and restaurants.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.