First Swiss canton calls for an easing to lockdown restrictions

First Swiss canton calls for an easing to lockdown restrictions
A giant screen reading in French: "Coronavirus, public meeting forbidden" is seen at the entrance of the city of Montreux. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
The government of the Swiss canton of Lucerne has called upon the Federal Council to loosen the countrywide coronavirus lockdown restrictions on April 19th.

Fabian Peter, the Minister for the Economy in Lucerne, has said the first step in lessening the restrictions should start on April 19th. 

Peter said the Federal Council should allow shops to reopen, including garden stores, fashion shops and booksellers. 

Peter said it would be the first wave of reopenings aimed at boosting the canton’s flagging economy, followed by again allowing hairdressers and restaurants to trade. 

Speaking with the Lucerne Zeitung, Peter said that “such a plan would send a positive signal”.

“An exit strategy is now needed, with the health situation setting the pace.”

As yet, Lucerne is the only canton to support such a measure, however Peter indicated he was hoping to get the support of other cantonal economics ministers. 

Yesterday, interior minister Alain Berset said that easing the restrictions before April 20th was “not realistic”, despite the current end date for the restrictive measures standing at April 19th. 

READ: Swiss health minister warns public 'it's illusory to think lockdown will end on April 20th' 

Representatives from all of the major Swiss political parties have agreed with this sentiment, other than the populist SVP who have called upon the government to allow all shops to open by April 19th after taking protective measures. 

As it currently stands, Swiss authorities are set to decide on April 16th whether or not the measures should be extended beyond the current deadline of April 19th. 

 


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