SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Swiss in favour of coronavirus tracing app despite privacy concerns

While also expressing concerns about privacy and security, the majority of Swiss citizens have indicated they would use a contact tracing app.

Swiss in favour of coronavirus tracing app despite privacy concerns
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

One third of those surveyed said they would definitely use the app, while a further 35 percent said they probably would. Only 14 percent said they would definitely or probably not use the app, while 16 percent said they hadn’t made up their mind. 

Although the details of the app have as yet not been finalised, it is expected to be introduced on a voluntary basis. 

This is how Switzerland’s contact tracing app will work

According to research by Oxford University, contact tracing apps need a minimum of 60 percent of the population to use them in order to be effective. 

Contact tracing apps have been successful in preventing the spread of Covid-19, primarily in Asia, however their introduction across Europe has been delayed primarily due to privacy concerns. 

 

Obligation to society

Almost three quarters (73 percent) said they would use the app due to a sense of responsibility towards the general public, while two-thirds (67 percent) wanted to protect family and friends.

More than half of those surveyed said protecting the most vulnerable was a motivating factor. 

Security fears remain

Just under a third of those surveyed were concerned the app would make their phones easier to hack, while 40 percent were worried about false alarms. 

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

HEALTH

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
 

SHOW COMMENTS