How Swiss cities are cracking down on coronavirus lockdown fatigue

How Swiss cities are cracking down on coronavirus lockdown fatigue
The Zurich foreshore has been a popular gathering spot. Photo: Unsplash
Although lockdowns are still in place across Switzerland, the warmer weather and public holidays have brought many back out onto the streets - leading to concerns that infections will rise quickly.

Authorities in several Swiss cities – where crowds have begun to gather and distance measures are not being observed – have drawn up plans to tackle lockdown fatigue in public places.

Authorities in several Swiss cities have considered taking a variety of steps including cordoning off certain areas and restricting bars and restaurants from putting chairs and tables on the pavement.


In an interview with the Tages Anzeiger, Karin Rykart of the Greens said police intervention and barriers are being considered for people gathering in public spaces.

“The city police plan to intervene if things go overboard,” Rykart said.

“People need to be reminded (about the seriousness of the situation)”.

Rykart said she was particularly concerned about large gatherings on areas across the lake basin, which have been closed for several weeks.

On the Utoquai however will not be considered – although additional police patrols will continue.

“Clearing the Utoquai on a Friday evening when too many people are too close together and people don't want to leave the square is not feasible,”


Swiss media has been full of pictures and video from Basel's “Party Mile” – the city's Steinenvorstadt – where people have been depicted together in close quarters.

As a result, the cantonal government has threatened fines and closures to anyone flaunting lockdown measures, while the area has seen a boosted police presence in recent weeks.

In addition to threatening bar owners and restauranteurs, patrons have also been threatened with fines and sanctions – while all activity must finish at 10pm.

Bars and restaurants which had been allowed to put their tables in public spaces have now had this permission revoked.

Police spokesman Martin Schütz told 20 Minutes that the police had already issued warnings to three restaurants in the area – and would continue to keep the police presence high in the coming weeks.


Despite frequent protest action with people demonstrating against the lockdown restrictions, Bern has been comparatively calm when it comes to nightlife.

A spokesperson told Swiss newspaper Watson that usual police patrols would continue – but that the public was largely obeying the social distancing restrictions.

READ: Bern to become 'open air bar' in summer to beat coronavirus restrictions



Since reopening the lake basin in Lucerne to the public on May 11th, the public’s acceptance of distance rules has slowly waned.

In the Luzerner Zeitung, authorities said they were considering further action to discourage the public from gathering in large groups.

As reported in Swiss newspaper Watson, a security service has been hired who can remind people of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions and who will call the police if directions are ignored.

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