No need for longer opening hours: Swiss

The majority of Swiss are happy with the current shop-opening hours, a survey conducted in February shows. 

No need for longer opening hours: Swiss
Norbert Aepli (File)

The research found that while younger members of Swiss society would like longer, more flexible opening times, overall the Swiss were against changing the current situation.

The report was commissioned by the website and conducted by the market research institute Link. It surveyed the opinions of 1,400 people across the country between the ages of 15 and 74 years.

When asked whether they were angry or annoyed by the current opening hours, only 18 percent of respondents said they were, while 82 percent said they were not, reported.

Over three-quarters of those surveyed said they would not extend the opening hours if they had a choice, while 18 percent said that they would, and the remaining five percent said that they would under certain circumstances.

“On the whole, the Swiss population is attached to its traditional purchasing behaviour,” Felix Schneuwly, spokesman for, said in a statement.

However, among the younger members of society, whose lives are increasingly shaped by competing demands and the need for flexibility, 42 percent said they would prefer longer opening times.

The study found that the tendency to want longer opening hours varied hugely according to age – of respondents aged 65 years or over, only six percent said they would want a change to the shop opening times.

Respondents were also keener for change depending on the canton, with people from cantons with stricter regimes being more in favour of extension than those that already have comparably longer opening hours.

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Why are some restaurants in Switzerland re-opening despite the shutdown?

A number of restaurant owners in Switzerland are resuming their activities on Monday, January 11th, in violation of current coronavirus restrictions.

Why are some restaurants in Switzerland re-opening despite the shutdown?
Some restaurants will break the rules and open on Monday. Photo by AFP

Fed up with having to close their doors on December 22nd and keep them shuttered until the end of February, dozens of restaurant and bar owners across Switzerland, along with other business proprietors, are vowing to resume their activities on Monday.

They say they are defying the federal restrictions in order to survive.

“I have to do something, otherwise my family will soon have nothing more to eat,” a café owner from Basel told 20 Minuten. 

“I am the sole breadwinner and have to support a family of six”, she added.

Another restauranteur, Sascha Rettenmund, owner of Gentil’s Bar in Selznach, canton Solothurn, also said he would re-open his business because “soon I won't have anything to eat”.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Switzerland to close all restaurants amid new move to stem Covid-19 surge 

These and others who are resuming their activities on Monday are part of #wirmachenauf movement, which started in Germany. In English it means “we open up”.

“We have implemented all the measures that were imposed on us and for many months we were ready to endure a serious drop in sales out of solidarity and to protect our fellow human beings”, the Swiss restauranteurs say on the site. 

Those who defy the federal ban and open on Monday risk hefty fines.

Legal expert Philipp Vonrüti said tradespeople who open their shops could be slapped with fines of up to 10,000 francs.

“This is the maximum amount currently set for breaking the Covid ordinance”, he said.

Prison sentence of up to five years could also be given “if someone spreads a dangerous communicable disease”, he added.

However, possible sanctions are not dissuading those already committed to opening on Monday.

“I have nothing more to lose”, the Basel café owner said, adding that she would “take legal action against any fines”.

The Federal Council has earmarked 2.5 billion francs to help businesses most affected by closings. However, often no money is paid out because the examination of the applications is a slow process.

Industry federation GastroSuisse warned on Sunday that without significant financial support, around half of businesses in the restauration and hospitality sector could go belly-up by the end of March. 

The group polled around 4,000 restaurant and hotel owners, and determined that 98 percent of them already are in urgent need of financial support.

“The very existence of many of them is threatened,” GastroSuisse president Casimir Platzer said.

READ MORE: Half of Swiss hotels, restaurants risk bankruptcy: employer group