Geneva cantonal doctor Aglaé Tardin announced on Thursday that due to the “extremely tense” coronavirus situation in the region, all the preventive measures put in place in mid-August are being extended until November 16th.
They include the obligation to wear a mask in shops and restaurants, and the requirement to consume food and drinks only when seated.
Restaurants will have to continue collecting customer data as well.
Also, nightclubs will remain closed, while private events are still limited to 100 people, unless distancing and mask wearing can be guaranteed. Groups of more than 1,000 people must continue to be divided into groups of up to 100 people, even though events with more than 1,000 participants are allowed in Switzerland from October 1st.
With nearly 8,600 cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March, Geneva is the second heaviest-hit canton in Switzerland. Only Vaud has registered more cases — over 10,630 so far.
In the past two to three weeks, daily numbers of contaminations in Geneva exceeded 60, and the number of hospitalisations now stands at 38, Tardin said.
“We are concerned about what we are seeing here at the epidemiological level,” she said in an interview with Tribune de Genève in August.
According to Health Minister Alain Berset, Geneva’s high rate of infection can be explained by the fact that it is a densely populated area.
“Also, there is an above-average number of jobs in the region and therefore high levels of travel. This leads to a higher number of contacts, which favour the spread of the virus”, he said.