UPDATE: Geneva and other Swiss cantons introduce tighter coronavirus restrictions

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UPDATE: Geneva and other Swiss cantons introduce tighter coronavirus restrictions
Geneva and Jura closed their bars and restaurants. Photo by AFP

Several Swiss cantons have announced tougher measures to fight the spread of Covid-19, going further than the rules implemented by the Federal Council.


Last week the Swiss government announced new Covid-19 restrictions that were implemented on October 29th.

While a lockdown is not part of the new measures, masks must now be worn outdoors in all urban areas where "the concentration of people does not allow the necessary distances to be respected".

There is also an 11pm curfew for bars and restaurants, the closure of nightclubs and discos, as well as the limit of 10 people for private gatherings and 50 for public events.

These measures are ground rules, and each individual canton can implement further restrictions. In other words, while cantons can’t revoke any of the federal measures, they can add their own, more restrictive ones.

On Sunday, Geneva authorities announced a ‘semi-confinement’, to begin on November 2nd,
 which goes beyond Swiss national measures. They include closing all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops in a bid to rein in skyrocketing coronavirus cases.

Warning that Geneva is experiencing a "severe aggravation of the situation", cantonal authorities also shut down leisure establishments like cinemas, museums, libraries and pools.

People are encouraged to leave their homes only if strictly necessary, though there are no legal bans on moving about.


And unlike the lockdown in the spring, schools will remain open.

READ MORE: Geneva goes beyond national corona rules, shutting bars and restaurants 

Other cantons are also introducing measures that go beyond those mandated on the federal level.

For instance, in Neuchâtel, only five people allowed to gather together in private from Monday, while the Federal Council authorises groups of up to 10.

Jura is also limiting groups to five people from November 2nd, imposing more restrictions from the same day.

All bars, restaurants, museums, theaters, cinemas, and libraries in the canton will remain closed until November 15th.

The canton of Obwalden limits public events to 30 people from Monday, compared to 50 at the national level. The ruling applies to public events indoors and out, but not to political assemblies. The same measure is already in force in Schwyz.

In Lucerne, erotic salons are closed and masks are required in cars for people who don’t come from the same household — measures which also go beyond those mandated nationally.

Also on Sunday, the Swiss ski lift association announced it would make face masks obligatory on all lifts during the coming winter season, including open chairlifts.



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