Austria police impose new restrictions in Wiener Neustadt

People walk down a shopping street amid the government reopening bigger shops as well as small businesses in a loosening of the second lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Vienna, Austria

Police in Austria are enforcing new rules requiring people to show a negative coronavirus test to leave Wiener Neustadt, a city of more than 45,000 people.

The system that took effect Saturday involves police and other officials controlling 26 exit roads from the city south of Vienna around the clock. Wiener Neustadt has an exceptionally high level of coronavirus infections — more than 500 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, compared with a national average of 198 per 100,000.

Fines of up to 1,450 euros ($1,730) are foreseen for people who violate the rules.

Mayor Klaus Schneeberger said testing stations set up in recent days have a capacity to test 15,000 people per day. He said he didn’t understand why Austria’s health ministry “doesn’t use this occasion to start a vaccination campaign here so we get this under control.”

A targeted campaign to vaccinate the entire adult population is underway in the Schwaz district in western Austria, which has seen a significant number of cases of the more contagious virus variant first detected in South Africa.

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