Switzerland to ban alcohol at stadium events

Switzerland to ban alcohol at stadium events
Swiss fans enjoy a beverage. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
From October 1st, Switzerland will again allow events with more than 1,000 people. In order to minimise the potential for infections, Swiss authorities are seeking to ban alcohol from venues.

Note: At a meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd, Switzerland's Federal Council rejected the ban on alcohol at large events. This is covered here

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset is set to introduce a ban on alcohol at stadiums when they are again allowed to host events with more than 1,000 people from October onwards. 

The ban will only apply to sporting events at stadiums and will not apply to concerts and music events. 

Swiss tabloid Blick reported on Tuesday that Berset is seeking to have the ban approved when the government meets on Wednesday, September 2nd. 

The tabloid reports that several cantons have asked Berset to push through the ban, mirroring that in place for international sporting events where alcohol cannot be served. 

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While the proposal has the support of mainstream parties, it is opposed by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) who say it is a “strange idea”. 

“We firmly reject an alcohol ban in stadiums” said SVP parliamentary group leader Thomas Aeschi to Blick. 

Berset says that the ban would only remain in place for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, i.e. it would not become a permanent fixture in Swiss sport going forward. 

In addition to the alcohol ban, only seats would be available for games – i.e. no standing terraces – while outdoor stadiums could only be filled to two-thirds of overall capacity. 

Indoor stadiums are capped at half capacity under the plan. 

Masks are mandatory under the plan, while the stadiums will be divided into 100-strong sectors to enable contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. 

All attendees will be required to provide contact details. 


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