Authoritarian Austria: Protesters Party in Central Vienna in Defiance of New Year’s Eve Lockdown

People wait to welcome the new year at Stephansplatz square close to the Stephansdom Cathedral in the city centre of Vienna, Austria, on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2021. - Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Austrian capital's traditional "Silvesterpfad" New Year's Eve party was cancelled and a nightly curfew …

Thousands of protesters and others partied in central Vienna on Friday evening in clear defiance of Austria’s various lockdown restrictions.

Crowds gathered in central Vienna on Friday to ring in the new year, partying the night away despite lockdown restrictions in place in Austria.

A mix of protesters, New Year’s Eve celebrants, and tourists gathered in the central Stephansplatz square, with many dancing to music being blared out across the square.

While Austria had temporarily relaxed unvaccinated-only lockdown restrictions for the night, a number of other measures remained in place. These included a 10 pm curfew for restaurants, as well as a ten-person limit on gatherings for both jabbed and unjabbed alike.

This, however, did not stop thousands from attending revelries in the city centre, according to a report by Heute.

The Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported that police showed up at the scene around 10 pm to ensure a peaceful celebration.

While the reports by Heute and Kronen Zeitung disagree on whether arrests were made by police during the event, both agree that the mood at the gathering was peaceful.

“The city was full, almost like it used to be,” Heute reports one witness of the night’s events said. “It was a very colourful mixture of tourists, kids, corona demonstrators, party people and a large police presence.”

While the evening’s festivities marked a temporary reprieve for unvaccinated individuals in Austria, the nation’s “corona apartheid” system is to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The Austrian government has again extended its lockdown of unvaccinated people for another 10-days, having promised that such a measure will continue indefinitely, despite needing constant renewal due to Austrian law.

Mandatory vaccination is also to be put in place from February onwards, with those who remain unvaccinated by that point facing large fines and even the possibility of imprisonment.

Those who received one-dose vaccines are also to lose access to their COVID passes from early January, being forced to receive a booster should they want the document reinstated.

Meanwhile, support for mandatory vaccination within the country has reached nearly 60 per cent, according to a poll conducted by Gallop.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.