Covid cases in Europe are skyrocketing as the continent heads into winter.
Several nations are looking to bring back restrictions and one is preparing to specifically lock down the unvaccinated.
Amid rising infections, Austria has already barred unvaccinated people who haven't recovered from an infection from restaurants, hotels, hairdressing salons and large public events.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said late last month unvaccinated people in Austria could face a new lockdown if cases continued to rise.
On Thursday, he said the plan was "probably inevitable" because of surging infections.
He said it would mean people who have not been vaccinated won't be able to leave home, unless it is for essential reasons like going to work, buying food or exercise.
Nationally, a record 11,975 Covid-19 infections were recorded in the past 24 hours and Austria's coronavirus commission has warned of a threat that "must be taken seriously".
It means there is now a rate of 760.6 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days – a rate three times that of neighbouring Germany, where record numbers are also causing concern.
Schallenberg took aim at the nation's unvaccinated residents, saying the country's vaccination rate is "shamefully low" at about 65 per cent.
On Thursday he said a lockdown for the unvaccinated was "probably unavoidable" and the unvaccinated face an "uncomfortable" winter and Christmas, the Austria Press Agency reported.
"I don't see why two-thirds should lose their freedom because one-third is dithering," Schallenberg said.
"For me, it is clear that there should be no lockdown for the vaccinated out of solidarity for the unvaccinated."
Critics say the lockdown will be very hard to enforce.
Cases explode in Germany
Many nations across Europe are seeing cases rise, but Germany has seen a particularly concerning spike.
Authorities there are now mulling further restrictions to combat a record surge in infections and "get through this winter".
The EU's most populous country recorded 50,196 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) health agency – the first time the figure has exceeded 50,000.
Infections and deaths have been climbing steeply since mid-October, in an outbreak blamed on Germany's relatively low vaccination rate of just over 67 per cent.
After getting through the first three onslaughts of the pandemic better than many of its neighbours, the current fourth wave seemed to take the nation by surprise.
At nearly 250 infections per 100,000 people, Germany is faring much worse than France (94), Italy (73) or Spain (41), according to the Statista data agency.
The data is worrying Germany's officials and public health experts.
Leading German virologist Christian Drosten called for urgent action on Tuesday, warning the country could witness as many as 100,000 more deaths from the virus if nothing was done to tackle the spread.
Speaking on an NDR podcast, Drosten said 100,000 deaths was a "conservative estimate" and "we have a real emergency situation at the moment" with millions of Germans still unvaccinated.
Netherlands heading for 'light lockdown'
The Netherlands on Thursday reported a record daily number of new Covid cases, as the government considered reimposing restrictions to curb the spike in infections.
The 16,364 new cases over the previous 24 hours, announced by the RIVM public health institute, smashed the previous record of 12,997 set on December 20 last year.
Twenty-six people had also died over the past 24 hours, the agency said. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will hold a press conference to announce fresh measures on Friday. Local media report that experts have advised a two-week "light lockdown".
The restrictions could include cancelling large events, closing cinemas and theatres and making bars and restaurants shut earlier in the evening. Schools would remain open.