What changes in Switzerland in April 2020?

What changes in Switzerland in April 2020?
Night watchman of the Cathedral of Lausanne, Renato Haeusler shouts the hour prior to manually ringing the 3600 kg "La Clemence" emergency bell in the Cathedral's belfry tower, on late March 27, 2020.
It's April already. Here's everything that changes in Switzerland in April.

Given the rate at which everything changes due to the coronavirus, there are likely to be more surprises in April that aren’t clear yet. As always, stay tuned to The Local Switzerland for everything you need to know about the coronavirus. 

Here are some rules, laws and standards that change during April 2020. Most of the changes have taken place on April 1st unless otherwise indicated. 

No entry to Switzerland for non-Swiss

While this rule actually came into place on March 25th, it applies throughout April and for a maximum of six months, so potentially until the end of September – unless if it rescinded by the government earlier. 

As the coronavirus outbreak first started, Switzerland began to restrict and ban entry to people from high-risk countries – however in late March, it was deemed that everywhere outside of Switzerland should be considered ‘high risk’, other than Liechtenstein. 

Other than citizens of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, residents of Switzerland and holders of cross-border permits are also allowed entry. 

There are also exceptions for people who “have to travel to Switzerland for matters of absolute necessity”, as per the Federal Department of Justice and Police Guidance.

Other coronavirus bans

The current restrictions on meeting in groups larger than five, all face-to-face teaching, as well as certain business types is currently set to remain in place until April 19th – although it is expected to be extended. 

Businesses subject to the ban include: 

  • Shops and markets
  • Restaurants Bars, discos, night clubs and adult entertainment 
  • Entertainment and leisure businesses, namely museums, libraries, cinemas, concert halls, theaters, casinos, sports centers, fitness centers, swimming pools, wellness centers and ski areas, botanical and zoological gardens and animal parks 
  • Companies with personal services with physical contact such as hairdressers, massages, tattoo studios and cosmetics

Viagra and other medicines are now available without prescriptions

As of April 2020, a range of medications will now be available in Switzerland without a prescription. 

These include sexual enhancement drug viagra, as well as treatment for gynaecological complaints such as vaginal thrush. 

A range of medicinal products for skin diseases such as acne, eczema or fungal infections have also been made available without a prescription. 

Also throughout April and until further notice, the sale of pain medication containing paracetamol (Dafalgan, Tylenol, Panadol) is limited to one package per person. This is due to high demand for analgesics during the coronavirus outbreak.

New copyright laws to protect artists and creators

Since April 1st, the rights of artists and creators are set to be better protected in a set of copyright changes which bring the law up to speed with new distribution mechanisms such as the internet. 

Authors will be paid for video content that they have produced which is distributed via the internet. 

Photographs will also now attract copyright – even if they are personal in nature. 

More information is available here


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