Austria is planning to start fining the country’s unvaxxed in mid-March, Chancellor Karl Nehammer announced on Sunday. The mandate, which will apply to all adults who don’t have medical exemptions, will impose penalties of more than $4,000 to those who refuse vaccination. Other European countries have imposed similar restrictions on their elderly populations and are watching Austria closely to determine if they will expand their mandates. Greece is planning to start fining the unvaccinated elderly, Italy has a vaccine mandate for those over 50, and France has sworn to make life difficult for those who refuse vaccines. Austria’s policy will be implemented in phases. In the first one, the unvaccinated receive a written notification. By mid-March, police can check vaccine status and impose fines. Fines can still be reversed if individuals get vaccinated within two weeks of the penalty. More than 20,000 marched on Saturday in opposition to the plan and some critics are wary of the level of control over the population it would require for the policy to be successful.
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