The Austrian Federal Government has extended the suspension of the contentious mandatory Covid-19 vaccination law. It has been extended until the end of August 2022.
This means that the vaccination requirement for Austrian residents is currently suspended, and those who are not vaccinated will not be fined.
The mandate was introduced in February but was suspended in March; if the government had not voted to extend the suspension, it would have gone into effect on June 1st.
ORF reports that the decision came after a vote in the Main Committee on Wednesday, May 25th, in which only the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SP) voted against the bill.
According to Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens), the current epidemiological situation in Austria does not necessitate the implementation of the law, but it will be reviewed again in August.
To encourage more people to get vaccinated, Rauch also announced plans for increased education and vaccine availability beginning at the end of August.
“A focus on the vaccination obligation is currently not justified,” said Karoline Edtstadler (VP), Minister of the Constitution, at a press conference about easing the mask mandate on Tuesday.
Ministers and health experts, on the other hand, continue to recommend that people get a Covid-19 booster shot before the next winter season to protect themselves from potential new variants and hospitalisation.