The demonstration was planned as a show of strength by the far right Freedom Party, whose leader Herbert Kickl had declared Austria “a dictatorship” after the new restrictions were announced.
Mr Kickl was unable to address the crowd because he has caught Covid and was self-isolating. Instead he appeared in a video in which he denounced the government’s “totalitarian” measures.
Oliver Breitenbaumer, 36, workshop electrician, said: “This witch-hunt against the unvaccinated is beneath contempt.”
Julia, 41, a caregiver in a nursing home, said: “The Government is leading the country to the wall.”
“I find the mandatory vaccination a catastrophe. It’s stupid when you have to get vaccinated with a revolver,” said Niklaus, 45, who works in the AI sector.
“Austria is Europe’s laboratory now. The governments are checking how far they can go with their vaccination mandates.This is not about Covid anymore, but about the new world order,” said Michael, 50, a gardener.