Austria to step up checks as new COVID rules take effect

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian authorities say they are stepping up police checks to enforce new rules under which unvaccinated people who haven’t had COVID-19 are barred from restaurants, hotels, hairdressing salons and large public events. The rules, which were announced on Friday night, took effect on Monday across the country of 8.9 million people. They are a response to a rapidly rising infection rate, which on Monday stood at 635 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days — over three times the level in neighboring Germany. Austria’s interior minister said that 800 police officers tasked with checking compliance with the COVID-19 rules will be added to some 4,000 officers who are already on regular patrols.