Swiss football league suspended over coronavirus outbreak

Switzerland announced on Monday that it has suspended its football league until March 23rd due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Swiss football league suspended over coronavirus outbreak
FC Basel's supporters light flares. AFP

The Swiss football league (SFL) announced its decision to suspend the league on Monday as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country continued to rise, albeit to a relatively low number of 24.

Referring to the government's decision, the SFL said that “all 20 clubs” had “decided to suspend the championships until March 23rd.”

It also said it ruled out the option of playing matches behind closed doors for economic reasons, according to AFP.

In all, 12 out of Switzerland’s 26 cantons have declared cases of coronavirus. Grisons (Graubünden) has the most with six cases, followed by five in Geneva.

Health authorities report that all the patients are doing well.

More than 500 people in Switzerland have so far been tested for Covid-19 and over 100 are in quarantine or isolation.

Last week, the government banned public events of more than 1,000 people until March 15th when authorities will review the coronavirus situation and decide whether to lift or extend the restrictions.

Sports events, carnivals, concerts, and exhibits, including the Geneva International Motor Show, have been cancelled until March 15th at least.


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Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?