Switzerland rejects alcohol ban in stadiums
Switzerland's Federal Council has rejected a planned nationwide ban on selling alcohol in stadiums, despite Swiss health officials pushing for the move.
Instead, the Federal Council on Wednesday decided that alcohol can be sold at large events as long as patrons can stick to an extensive set of social distancing and hygiene rules.
Events with more than 1,000 people will be again allowed in Switzerland from October 1st pursuant to a range of restrictions.
Organisers of large events are required to submit a protection concept to show how they will ensure attendees comply with the rules.
From October 1st, all attendees will be required to wear masks and standing will not be allowed (with few exceptions).
Food and drink can only be consumed while patrons are seated, away fans will not be admitted and only two thirds of the seats may be used.
‘Protection concept must not be endangered’
According to the Swiss government: “The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages are to be restricted to such an extent that the observance of the protection concept is not endangered by the viewers.”
In the lead up to the announcement, Swiss media reported that Health Minister Alain Berset was pushing for a ban on alcohol at large events in stadiums due to pressure from some cantonal authorities.
At the announcement on Wednesday, Berset said the federal government was trying to act proportionately to the threat - but that cantons were free to put in place alcohol bans and other restrictions if they saw fit.
“We are simply trying to act proportionately here. We already did that in mid-March. We are less strict here compared to other countries.
“You simply cannot say exactly what will happen, which is why we gave the cantons the flexibility to do so.
“You know, I like to have a beer too.”
While clubs and venues will have the power to expel those who do not comply with the rules, there are currently no fines for those who fail to do so.