Austria has placed some 2 million of its unvaccinated population in lockdown from today, as COVID-19 infections surge.

"We are not taking this step lightly but it is necessary.

"In reality we have told one third of the population: you will not leave your apartment anymore apart from for certain reasons," Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told a press conference on Sunday, reported BBC.

The move will bar unvaccinated people in the country from leaving their homes, except for when they are going to work and buying essential items. It excludes children below the age of 12, as well as those who have recently recovered from COVID-19, and will initially last for 10 days from today.

Only about 65 per cent of Austria's population is fully vaccinated - one of the lowest rates in Western Europe.

COVID-19 numbers, meanwhile, has seen a resurgence, with the seven-day infection rate standing at 800 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest in Europe.

Several measures are already in place for the unvaccinated, such as barring them from visiting restaurants, hairdressers, and home.

In addition, the government has warned that the police will carry out spot checks to determine the vaccination status of people in public spaces.

Austria is just one of the countries which has begun penalizing unvaccinated people.

Latvia has banned its lawmakers who refuse the vaccine from voting on laws and taking part in debates until the middle of next year. This on top of getting their pay docked.

The Australian state of Queensland will bar unvaccinated people from restaurants, pubs and sports events from Dec 17, while Singapore has said that people who remain unvaccinated by choice will have to pay for their own medical bills from December.

In Malaysia, unvaccinated people are barred from dining in at restaurants, and many other public spaces.

Although Malaysia has fully vaccinated 76 per cent of its population, COVID-19 numbers are seeing a resurgence.

To date, more than 2.54 million people have been infected with the virus, while 29,676 people have died from it.

Source: BBC
Photo source: Reuters