Three things the Swiss civil protection service does during the coronavirus pandemic

Here's a short guide to some of the actions Switzerland's civil protection service are taking during the coronavirus crisis.

Three things the Swiss civil protection service does during the coronavirus pandemic
Civil protection member stands in front of a hospital tent. Photo by Zivilschutz

The role of Switzerland's civil protection service is to offer support to the military in emergency situations or natural disasters.

During the coronavirus outbreak, they will help the army hospital battalions that were deployed  in March, to carry out a “special service towards the security and protection” of the Swiss public.

Currently about 5,000 of the civil protection members are mobilised by the government to help the soldiers who have been deployed in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

The major task of the civilian service is to help with the logistical, non-medical issues experienced by hospitals and other medical institutions during the pandemic.

They help set up tents outside the hospitals, which are used to screen and test potential Covid-19 patients, help transport patients and equipment, and install new hospital units where needed. 

Members of civil protection go from hospital to hospital, distributing essential supplies and sanitary materials such as masks and disinfectants, to medical personnel. 

In nursing homes for the elderly, civil protection members are often stationed at the entrance, where they monitor the traffic and ‘filter’ everyone who comes in. They measure the temperature of incoming staff and give them face masks.

They also relieve employees who are overwhelmed by the additional duties by distributing meals, reading to the most incapacitated residents, and taking them for walks.



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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?