Former President Maurer: ‘Switzerland can’t afford a second lockdown’

Former President Maurer: ‘Switzerland can't afford a second lockdown’
Former Swiss President Ueli Maurer. Image: HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA / AFP
Former Swiss President Ueli Maurer has asked citizens to be responsible and stick to lockdown rules, saying “Switzerland cannot afford a second lockdown. We just don’t have the money for that.”

Maurer highlighted Switzerland’s rising debt as a reason the lockdown needs to be avoided, Swiss daily 20 Minutes reports

Swiss Parliament approved taking on 30 billion francs of additional debt, of which the government plans to spend approximately 18 billion. 

Due to a decline in the amount of income, there is expected to be an additional 22 billion francs in debt at the end of 2020.

Maurer, of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, said that tax revenue would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, but also said that a tax increase was unnecessary. 

“We have to find our way back to discipline in spending policy” said Maurer. 

Switzerland to shorten quarantine? 

Maurer, who served as the President of Switzerland in 2013 and in 2019 due to the Federal Council’s power-sharing arrangement, flagged a change to the country’s quarantine rules as a way to minimise the economic impacts. 

UPDATE: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's quarantine requirement 

“We are discussing how quickly we can send the people who are negative, even if they were in a risk area, back into the economy, back to work,” said Maurer.

As reported by The Local on September 15th, tourism industry officials have called for a shortening in the quarantine time – backed up by an expanded testing regime, 

Speaking with Switzerland’s NZZ am Sonntag, Martin Nydegger, director of Switzerland Tourism, said changes needed to be made to the current arrangement. 

“If French tourists are absent in the coming autumn and winter seasons, we will be hit hard” Nydegger told the NZZ am Sonntag

“The quarantine period must be reduced wherever possible,” said Nydegger.

‘We will be hit hard': Swiss tourism officials call to cut quarantine 

“We demand that business and leisure travellers from risky areas with a negative corona test that is not older than 48 hours should be able to enter Switzerland.”

All arrivals from countries on Switzerland’s high-risk list must go into quarantine. 


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