Austria to Deactivate COVID Passes After Six Months in Bid to Push Boosters

Austria's designated Chancellor Karl Nehammer (2nd R) and Austria's outgoing Chancellor Al

Austria is to begin deactivating COVID passes after six months from February in an effort to increase the population’s adoption of booster jabs.

In order to increase the uptake of booster vaccinations in the country, Austria is to begin cancelling all COVID passes after six months.

New measures announced on Thursday also include the mandatory wearing of FFP2 (N95 Masks) in some outdoor locations, as well as a tightening of restrictions against unvaccinated, unrecovered individuals in retail settings.

According to a report by Wiener Zeitung, “Green Passes” issued in the country will start expiring after six months after the person’s last dose from February as a result of a government decision on Thursday.

Having been shortened down from nine months, the significant reduction in the pass validity period was seemingly done in an effort to increase the uptake of booster jabs, according to a report by Kronen Zeitung, with the nation’s vaccination rate having slid in recent days.

The announcement comes not long after all those in the country who received a single, not double dose vaccination lost their COVID passes, with all certs related to one-dose inoculations having expired on January 3rd by government decree.

For those who have lost their Green Pass, the only way to get the document reissued is through receiving a Chinese Coronavirus booster jab.

Other measures announced on Thursday include the mandatory wearing of FFP2 (N95) masks in outdoor settings where 2-meter distances between people cannot be maintained, as well as even tighter COVID pass restrictions in retail settings.

Up until now, Austrian retailers had previously only had to do random spot-checks for proof of vaccination or recovery in order to ensure no one without a Green Pass — such as many unvaccinated individuals — were shopping on the premises.

From January 11th however, retailers will have to check all those entering the premises for Green Passes, according to Wiener Zeitung.

Austria’s unvaccinated population are currently under a strict lockdown, as part of measures described by one politician as “corona apartheid“.

While the measures in place against the unjabbed must be renewed every 10 days under Austrian law, the government has previously announced that the lockdowns would continue in perpetuity.

Furthermore, authorities plan to implement a regime of mandatory vaccination from February, with those who remain unjabbed after that point facing fines, as well as possible imprisonment.

In response to the restrictions, thousands of Austrians have taken to the streets in protests, with demonstrations in the capital Vienna, in particular, being well attended.

The Austrian government has taken decisive measures in response to dissent in the country, however, with the nation’s then-Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, denouncing signs of “radicalisation” among protesters, despite low levels of violence.

Nehammer is now the country’s chancellor after the previous government head’s shock resignation.

Meanwhile, Austrian authorities raided 24 homes across the country on Wednesday in a crackdown on a network allegedly selling fake vaccine certs online.

“The pandemic has given rise to new forms of crime,” said Interior Minister Gerhard Karner in relation to the raids. “The Federal Criminal Police Office and the State Criminal Police Offices are facing up to these tasks through consistent and structured investigations, in close cooperation with the health authorities.”


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