Austria is easing its health restrictions against the coronavirus until Saturday, while the situation in hospitals has once again become “manageable,” the government said. Sixty-nine percent of the country’s population is vaccinated. The FFP2 mask requirement is now only valid in shops and museums. Surgical mask is still required at public events, for which measurements are magnified.
Entry into the country is allowed again for those who have not been vaccinated or do not have a recovery certificate. The same applies to access to restaurants,if you have a negative screening test.
Thousands of protesters marched towards Parliament in the Australian capital Canberra on Saturday to condemn the need for a Covid-19 vaccine, following the example of other such rallies organised around the world.
Protesters arrived en masse, some with their children, in front of Parliament, sometimes waving the Australian Red Ensign, a version of the Australian flag associated with a red background associated with the movement of “sovereign citizens” who believe national laws do not apply to them.
There were 10,000 protesters according to police, “generally good behaviour,” said a spokesman for the police, who made three arrests.
Australia has a double vaccination rate of 94% in people over the age of 16.
Vaccination is not mandatory, but requires entering the country and working in a number of industries considered at risk, such as caring for the elderly.
Some Australian states, such as New South Wales, have begun relaxing rules on proof of a vaccine for entering pubs, restaurants or shops.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is due to call a general election in mid-May, urged protesters to remain calm.
“The message I’m sending them today is that Australia is an independent country and they have the right to protest and I ask them to do it in a peaceful and respectful manner,” Mr Morrison told reporters.
But the prime minister said he wanted to be “very clear” that the federal government only supported duties associated with older workers, disabled workers and those working in high-risk health situations.
“All other duties related to vaccines have been unilaterally imposed by state governments,” the prime minister added. “So I understand their concerns about these issues,” he said.