Zurich: Nightclubs to collect personal information and refuse ‘guests with signs of a cold’

A guidance issued by the Bar and Club Commission of Zurich has encouraged nightclubs and bars in the city to keep the personal information of all attendees while also refusing entry to anyone who appears visibly ill.

Zurich: Nightclubs to collect personal information and refuse 'guests with signs of a cold'
Photo by Jacob Morch from Pexels

After Zurich cantonal authorities on Wednesday issued a set of recommendations which included staying away from nightclubs, the city’s peak representative body of nightlife venues has issued a guidance document to minimise the risk of infection for attendees. 

The guidance, which was issued on Thursday afternoon, includes refusing entry to people who appear ill or who have travelled to high-risk areas recently, as well as collecting contact details and other personal information from all attendees. 


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The Bar and Club Commission says that while closing all clubs in the canton “would be an effective means (of stopping the spread of the virus), it would go beyond the scope of what is necessary”. 

“Closing the clubs represents a very far-reaching measure to contain SARS COVID-19 and presents entrepreneurs with existential questions. In the interest of proportionality, the BCK examined milder measures”. 

As reported in Swiss newspaper Watson, some clubs have already taken the suggested steps. The Mascotte club in Zurich said that attendees would be refused entry unless they provided their personal information at the entrance or via the club’s app. 

The club also required attendees to answer whether they had been to a high-risk area including “northern Italy, Asia including China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Singapore” and whether they felt sick. 

All club attendees needed to bring valid ID to prove their identity, as well as carry a mobile phone at all times. 


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Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I’m abroad?

Given how expensive health insurance premiums are in Switzerland, you may be tempted to suspend your policy while you are abroad. Is this possible?

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I'm abroad?

Unlike the obligatory car insurance, which you can suspend temporarily by depositing your registration plates at the local motor vehicles office, rules pertaining to health insurance are much stricter.

As the Federal Office of Public Health explains it, “If you leave the country for a certain period to travel or study but do not take up residence abroad, you are still required to have [health] insurance in Switzerland”.

In other words, as long as you are a registered resident of Switzerland, regardless of your nationality or passport, you must keep your compulsory Swiss health insurance and pay your premiums. While you do this, you also remain covered against most medical emergencies while you travel.

However, rules are less stringent for supplemental health plans which can, in some cases, be put on hold, depending on the insurance provider, according to Switzerland’s Moneyland consumer website.

The only exception allowed for suspending the health insurance coverage is during a military or civil protection service which lasts more than 60 consecutive days.

“During these periods, the risks of illness and accident are covered by military insurance. Your health insurance provider will refund your premiums”, according to FOPH.

Under what circumstances can you cancel your Swiss health insurance?

Swiss law says you can cancel your insurance if you are moving abroad, either permanently for for a period exceeding three months.

If you do so, only claims for treatments given while you still lived in Switzerland will be paid by your insurance; any medical bills for treatment incurred after you officially leave will be denied.

These are the procedures for cancelling your compulsory health insurance if you leave the country under conditions mentioned above

To announce your departure abroad, you must send your insurance carrier a letter including your name, customer number or AVS/AHV number.

You must also include a certificate from your place of residence in Switzerland confirming that you have de-registered from your current address, as well as the date of your departure.

Note, however, that if your new destination is another Swiss community / canton, rather than a foreign country, your insurance can only be cancelled from the following calendar year and only if you present proof of having taken up a new policy with another company.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to register your address in Switzerland

You can find out more information about this process here

If you suspend your health insurance for less than six years, you can reactivate it at a later date with the same company when you return to Switzerland.

READ MORE : What you should know about your Swiss health insurance before you go abroad