Switzerland: Zurich and Geneva implement stricter coronavirus measures

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Switzerland: Zurich and Geneva implement stricter coronavirus measures
A road sign next to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Zurich and Geneva have introduced stricter lockdown measures to battle rising case counts, including limiting the numbers of public and private events along with requiring masks in bars, restaurants and schools.


Switzerland on October 14 recorded its highest ever case count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The total was double the previous highest recorded total - from late March when the pandemic began. 

'Worry is the word of the hour': Switzerland doubles its highest total of new coronavirus cases 

As a result, authorities in the cantons which house Switzerland’s two largest cities - Zurich and Geneva - have put in place stricter requirements, the Tages Anzeiger reports


In Zurich, masks are required for all indoor events with more than 30 people. Masks are required at outdoor events with more than 300 people. 

Masks will be required in bars and restaurants in Zurich, but only where the bar or restaurant is not exclusively seated: i.e. where guests stand while drinking or eating. 

Masks will be required for all attendees at clubs, discos and dance halls. 

UPDATE: Where in Switzerland are masks compulsory right now? 

Service staff at bars and restaurants are also required to wear masks in Zurich. 

The measures apply from Thursday, October 15th onwards. 


The University of Zurich also put in place mandatory mask requirements in all areas, other than when drinking or eating

Finally, all adults in schools and educational institutions will be required to wear masks from October 19th onwards. 

As reported by Watson, the mask requirement applies “in the school buildings, in sports halls, care rooms and in break areas. The mask is not necessary if the minimum distance of one and a half meters to other people can be maintained in parts of the lesson or if protection can be ensured by adequate protective measures such as plexiglass walls.”


In Geneva, the measures are event stricter.

Public events are restricted to a maximum of 15 people. Private events now have a cap of 100 people, with all events with more than that number banned. 

‘Public’ spaces include all meetings in parks, on riverbanks or the shores of Lake Geneva, or any other public area. 

Distance must be kept at all public events - with masks required if distance cannot be kept. 

Permits are required for gatherings of more than 15 people - with organisers required to produce a ‘protection concept’ in order to gain the permit. 

All indoor spaces require masks. 

All school trips and study trips with overnight stays are cancelled. 


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