Austria has suspended its Covid-19 vaccination mandate, just days before enforcement measures were due to kick in, the government announced.

The mandate, which makes vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for all adults in Austria, has been in effect since February 5, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, routine police checks and fines for non-compliance were due to start in mid-March.

Austria's Constitutional Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler told reporters that the federal government is suspending the vaccine mandate on the advice of a commission of health and legal experts.

However, Health Minister Johannes Rauch said the commission will deliver another report in three months, at which point the government may make new decisions.

Austria first announced plans to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory in November last year, in a bid to contain surging infections.

It was the first European Union country to introduce such a measure.

This week's suspension of the vaccine mandate came despite high infection numbers in Austria, after Covid-19 restrictions were eased in early March.

On Wednesday, the country reported 47,795 Covid-19 cases, a new daily record.

Official data revealed that 75.8 per cent of the Austrian population had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Source : IANS

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