The government confirmed that the law making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory is set to come into effect from February 1st, with a first draft to be presented on December 6th to undergo a four-week review process. Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein urged people in Austria not to wait until the law comes into force, but to get their vaccine as soon as possible.
“Yes, it is in intrusion into fundamental rights and freedoms,” he acknowledged, saying that this was the reason the government is involving a wide range of people in their discussions on the law.
The details were shared at a press conference from Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler and Mückstein, following talks between the government, opposition parties SPÖ and NEOS, and experts, which the health minister called a “fruitful exchange”.
But beyond confirmation of the timeline, there were few new details about how the law will work in practice.
The ministers were asked from what age the mandate would begin, and Edtstadler said this would need to be discussed further before it was decided.
She said that in any case, children in the Volkschule (primary school, usually aged between six and ten) would not be affected by the mandate.
Edtstadler said that the amount of any administrative fine had not been confirmed either, after reports in Austrian media that the amount was likely to be set at $3,600, which could be issued twice to make a total of $7,200.