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On Thursday, Austria’s Health Minister, Johannes Rauch, announced they would end mandatory Covid vaccines.
According to a report from DW, Rauch stated, “We have decided as a government to do away with the vaccine mandate. Living with Covid means that we will bring forward a comprehensive package of measures, and today that means the abolition of compulsory education.”
Austria has previously buckled under restrictive edicts their government had put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic, including the requirement to provide proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, and other activities in public.
However, Austrians have strongly protested the tyrannical mandates since last fall, pushing back against the staunch regulations. In January, Austrians rose up and took to the streets with fiery torches and flares, voicing their opposition to the prospect of mandatory Covid vaccinations.
According to DW, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen signed a mandatory Covid vaccination policy into law in February, requiring adults over 18 to receive the vaccine.
Shortly after the mandate went into effect in February, which caused months of intense and fiery protests, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer announced that the government would be lifting most of their Covid restrictions and regulations. However, at that time, negative tests and face masks were still required in certain areas of the Austrian community – like hospitals and shopping centers.
Health Minister Rauch explained on Thursday that the government could only achieve vaccination against Covid if it were voluntary, backpedaling from the government’s original plan to fine Austrian citizens for refusing the shot.
However, Reuters reported that the constitutional affairs minister for the Chancellery Karoline Edstadler and Health Minister Rauch said the mandate could be reimplemented in the future pending further review.