Austria and Germany have imposed restrictions on unvaccinated people as the number of COVID cases continues to surge, according to NPR.

Austria has ordered partial lockdown on nearly 2 million unvaccinated people, while Germany has reintroduced free COVID testing.

Both countries have seen soaring rates of COVID-19 amid a Europe-wide wave of new infections.

According to the new mandate in Austria, unvaccinated people will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, food shopping, or emergencies. The new mandate is expected to remain in place for 10 days.

Officials are conducting spot checks of digital vaccine certificates. However, there is skepticism about how effectively will this lockdown be enforced.

Calling the move dramatic, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told Ö1 radio, “We really didn’t take this step lightly and I don’t think it should be talked down.”

“What we are trying is precisely to reduce contact between the unvaccinated and vaccinated to a minimum, and also contact between the unvaccinated,” he added.

In Austria, nearly 12,000 people have died since the pandemic began.

In Berlin, a similar lockdown has been imposed, with only fully vaccinated or people recently recovered from COVID allowed to enter restaurants, cinemas, and sports facilities.

Germany has a 68% vaccination rate and Austria has 65%. They are still behind some of their fellow EU members, including the United Kingdom.

Dr. Christine Falk, President, German Society for Immunology, said, “Our vaccination rate is still under 75% of the German population. Combined with the lack of contact restrictions, this is allowing the virus to spread almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.”

In Germany, nearly 98,000 COVID deaths have been reported since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, public health officials in the Netherlands imposed a partial lockdown since Saturday, which is set to remain in place for at least three weeks, amid a spike in COVID cases.

“Despite a vaccination rate of nearly 85% of the adult population in the Netherlands, the country recorded a record number of new infections on Thursday — more than 16,000, per NPR.

In the Netherlands, COVID has killed more than 18,600 since the pandemic began.