When Switzerland put in place its quarantine requirement for foreign travellers, the government established a threshold of 60 infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days to determine which countries were ‘high risk’.
Since July 6th, arrivals from so-called high-risk countries have been required to quarantine upon entering Switzerland.
Since Monday, September 14th, Switzerland is now officially a high-risk country according to its own criteria, news site 20 Minutes points out.
It might lead to some twisted logic, but if Switzerland was a foreign country, arrivals in Switzerland would be forced to quarantine for ten days.
Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) recorded 5,256 infections over the past two weeks – a 16 percent increase on the previous period.
It is the first time Switzerland has crossed the threshold as a country since the criteria has come into place, although the mark has been crossed by individual cantons previously.
Both Geneva and Zurich have crossed the threshold in recent weeks. In Geneva, the threshold crossed the 100 mark in early August.
While the rate applies across the entire country, high infection rates in a handful of Swiss cantons have pushed the overall rate up.
Currently, the hotspots are Zurich, Geneva, Vaud and Friborg.
— BAG – OFSP – UFSP (@BAG_OFSP_UFSP) September 14, 2020
Despite the rising infection rates, Swiss health experts have been at pains to point out that the situation is under control.
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset told the NZZ on Sunday that the cases would not increase exponentially.
Stefan Kuster, spokesperson for the FOPH, said the situation in Switzerland was under control.
Berset said it was the responsibility of the cantons to take appropriate measures.
“Given the special situation, it is the responsibility of the cantons to respond to epidemiological developments with suitable measures and to adapt contact tracing to the situation. They know the terrain and the regional conditions.”
Rudolf Hauri, President of the Cantonal Doctors Association, took solace in the fact the situation in Switzerland “was better than in France or Austria”.
“Examples such as Geneva show that measures taken are effective and the number of infections can be slowed down accordingly. We have to stay careful to master (the situation) this autumn.”