From Monday, Austria will be placing about 2 million unvaccinated people in lockdown amid record infection levels and growing pressure on hospitals.

In reaction to the development, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said, “We are not taking this step lightly but it is necessary.”

Part of the lockdown procedure will prompt unvaccinated people to leave home for a limited number of reasons, like working or buying food.

So far, about 65% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated. This is one of the lowest rates in western Europe.

Meanwhile the seven-day infection rate is more than 800 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest in Europe.

Overall, Europe has again become the region most seriously-affected by the pandemic and several countries are introducing restrictions and warning of rising cases.