Switzerland: Canton of Bern extends coronavirus measures

Switzerland: Canton of Bern extends coronavirus measures
A woman at a coronavirus protest in Bern. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
The Swiss canton of Bern has voted to extend its coronavirus measures until December 7th due to concerns about hospital capacities and high case numbers.

Under Swiss federalism, cantonal governments are free to put in place stricter coronavirus measures than those which apply at a federal level. 

READ MORE: Switzerland announces sweeping new Covid-19 restrictions 

In Bern, only a maximum of 15 people can attend events. 

There is a limit of 100 people in bars and clubs and all such venues need to present a hygiene plan in order to reach this amount. 

Restaurants may however operate several different rooms with a max of 100 in each. 

Students in secondary schools must wear masks, other than in classrooms. Museums, gyms, fitness centres and cinemas must be closed.

The government said it was grateful to the population for complying with the measures, but that an extension was necessary to reduce the burden on the canton’s hospitals. 

READ: What are the coronavirus measures in every Swiss canton? 

After peaking on November 9th, the situation in Bern’s hospitals has since somewhat stabilised, although the number of patients requiring ventilation is increasing. 

Of the 385 people currently hospitalised for Corona, 73 are in intensive care units; 62 of them are ventilated.

In making the decision, the council said it was hopeful the measures could be relaxed again in two to three weeks in order for a relative return to normality in time for Christmas. 


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