Austria has become the first country in Europe to make coronavirus vaccinations compulsory under new laws announced on Friday.
It prompted fears that a 10,000-strong march in Vienna on Saturday could descend into violence as anger builds against rules forcing people to get the jab.
“As of today, Austria is a dictatorship,” said Herbert Kickl, the far-Right FPO leader, accusing the government of crossing a “dark red line” with the plan to force citizens to have the injection from Feb 1.
Police were on high alert with 1,300 officers on standby, while intelligence services warned that anti-vaccine activists planned to invade hospitals in protest against the measures.
Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian chancellor, also announced that the entire country would go into lockdown on Monday. Only the unvaccinated are currently confined to their homes.
Mr Schallenberg blamed the unvaccinated for forcing their fellow citizens back into lockdown.
“We are demanding a lot from the vaccinated people in this country, because the unvaccinated people have not shown solidarity,” he said.
Pamela Rendi-Wagner, leader of the biggest opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPO), said: “The fourth lockdown could have been prevented. The government has not taken the experts’ warnings seriously for too long.”
Dutch police fire warning shots at protesters
Police in Rotterdam have fired warning shots at protesters as riots erupted over government plans to impose lockdown rules on unvaccinated people.
Two protesters were hurt as officers fired into the crowd after water cannon had failed to disperse hundreds of people from a central street in the city.