UPDATE: Geneva and Vaud impose tighter measures to fight Covid-19 surge

UPDATE: Geneva and Vaud impose tighter measures to fight Covid-19 surge
Large gatherings are no longer allowed. Photo by AFP
The two Swiss cantons implemented more restrictions on Sunday at midnight, joining other Swiss regions that have recently enforced stricter Covid-19 rules on their territories.

In Geneva, bars and restaurants will close at 11pm, and the number of people sitting at the same table will be limited to five.

Private events cannot exceed five participants, whether in the public domain or at home. Children under 12 are not counted.

The practice of contact and team sports at an amateur level are prohibited. Recreational facilities such as bowling, billiards, escape games and laser games will close. However, fitness centres, swimming pools and skating rinks remain open.

Masks must be worn in cars if passengers include people who are not members of the same family.

In Vaud, bars, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, museums, libraries and cinemas will close at midnight at the latest.

Private events cannot exceed 10 people, including children, whether in public or private domain.

Public demonstrations of more than 1,000 people are prohibited.The practice of contact sports is banned at the amateur level, except for junior teams.

Fitness centres, ice rinks and swimming pools remain open.

These measures were taken in addition to ones implemented on Friday in other cantons.

In Jura, meetings, gatherings or demonstrations of more than 15 people, including children, will now be prohibited. Restaurants, cafés and bars must close at 10pm.

In these establishments, a maximum of four people can be seated at the same table, with the exception of people living in the same household. Late night bars and clubs must remain closed.

Team and contact sports are banned with the exception of professional private practice and individual training. Fitness centres must remain closed. Ski camps, sports camps, and study trips are suspended.

Wearing a mask is compulsory at all times in the workplace, both in public and private companies. It is also mandatory for students in the perimeter of secondary and post-compulsory schools when they are not seated in class.

In Fribourg, gatherings of more than 10 people in public and private spaces will be banned, the Council of State said in a statement on Friday. This ban particularly applies to events such as political, cultural and civil demonstrations.

Nightclubs, cabarets casino, gaming rooms, billiards, bowling, and other entertainment facilities will be closed. All other establishments must close at 11pm and can only accommodate groups of four people per table, unless the customers live in the same household.

Neuchâtel raised its alert level to red on Friday, meaning that the outbreaks of Covid-19 are spreading at an alarming rate. 

Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited in public and private spaces, with the exception of funerals.

Public establishments must close by 11 pm at the latest.

In restaurants, the number of people is limited to a maximum of four per table, with the exception of people living in the same household. Gyms, wellness centres, swimming pools and bowling alleys are closed.

The new restrictions in the three cantons are in addition to the national ones implemented by the Federal Council on October 19th in response to Switzerland’s skyrocketing infection rate. 

They include mask requirement in all indoor public spaces, capping public gatherings at 15 people, and private events at 100.

However, if the numbers get out of hand, authorities will “consider more drastic measures”, Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga warned.

This could mean a ‘mini lockdown’, if the infection curve does not flatten out soon, Sommaruga said. 

In addition to nationwide measures, each canton can implement its own stricter rules, above and beyond those mandated by the federal government, Sommaruga pointed out.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Switzerland’s new lockdown measures 

For instance, canton Bern announced the ban on events involving more than 1,000 people, even though such gatherings are currently authorised, under stringent conditions, in the rest of the country.

And Valais, where the infection rate has soared, mandated new measures from October 22nd.
They include the closure of bars, nightclubs, brothels, cinemas, theatres, museums, libraries, public swimming pools, and bowling alleys.

Restrictions implemented previously in other cantons can be seen here in German.

The government is expected to decide Wednesday on new measures to control the spread of the virus.
 


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