Coronavirus tracking: Swiss restaurants and bars to demand customer names and phone numbers

Coronavirus tracking: Swiss restaurants and bars to demand customer names and phone numbers
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Visitors to restaurants and pubs will be required to provide their full name and phone number in order to enter, under new requirements laid out by the Swiss government as part of the relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The compulsory requirement will come into place when restaurants and pubs are allowed to open again from May 11th. 

Venues will need to collect the full names and the phone numbers of everyone who attends, as well as their table number and the date and time that they attended. This is being done so that people can be contacted if an outbreak is subsequently detected. 

According to Gastrosuisse President Casimir Platzer, the requirement is a form of ‘analog’ contact tracing and has been developed in tandem between restaurants and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). 

As reported by Swiss tabloid Blick on Tuesday, the requirement is binding upon all establishments when they reopen. 

If someone has tested positive, other patrons can be quickly contacted to prevent further outbreaks. 

Platzer said patrons were unlikely to let their concerns about providing their personal information overshadow their desire to again visit restaurants. 

“The people who are looking forward to visiting a restaurant are ready to hand over the data”

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All restaurants and pubs are required to collect the information, even if they are not a member of the peak body. 

Pursuant to the rules negotiated by the peak body and the government, guest information must be deleted 14 days after the visit, provided no infection has occurred. 

Gastrosuisse has told venues that they must comply with the rule and delete the data, otherwise they would risk losing the trust of their customers. 

Some restaurants and bars have promised to keep the information on paper rather than in a centralised data file to encourage guests that their data will be protected. 

Strict requirements on reopening

To do so however, they will need to comply with a strict set of requirements. 

No more than four people will be allowed to sit at one table, while all guests must be seated. 

Therefore, pubs will be allowed to open provided seating is provided. 

Groups of guests must sit more than two metres away from other groups, or be separated by some form of partitioning such as plexiglass or wood. 

Parents and their children will be an exception to the four-person limit, with families allowed to sit groups larger than four.

Platzer said he felt sympathy for venues which were unable to comply with the requirements and could not open their doors again, but said such restrictions were necessary to ensure the sector could continue. 


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