Austria has extended the mandate for Covid-19 vaccination for another 3 months, until August end. On Wednesday, an Austrian parliamentary committee has approved a health minister’s order to prolong the suspension.
The mandate, which became law at the start of February has yet not been implemented and was suspended on Tuesday. According to an expert commission, enforcing it now is inequitable and thus unjustified.
The plan was first announced in November, following an increase in COVID-19 cases that forced Austria to go into lockdown. Nevertheless, much of the seriousness had passed by the time the legislation was passed.
In March, authorities were expected to begin checking people’s vaccination status, for eg. during traffic stops. Now , just a week before its implementation, the government suspended the mandate, claiming that there was no need to implement it as things stood.
People who are unable to provide evidence of vaccination may be fined up to 600 euros (approximately $650). Fines could reach 3,600 euros if people contest their punishment.
Austria was the very first country in Europe to pass universal vaccination legislation. Only Germany considered doing the same, but its parliament voted down last month even a bid for a mandate for its people over the age of 60.