Switzerland set to tighten coronavirus measures until Christmas: reports

Switzerland set to tighten coronavirus measures until Christmas: reports
A discarded facemask on the ground in Switzerland. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland looks set to implement a ‘mini-quarantine’ in the lead-up to Christmas to ensure a “carefree family celebration”, Swiss media reported on Tuesday.

While the measures would be introduced up to and including December 23rd, there is as yet no set date for when they are likely to come into effect. 

Several newspapers have reported that Health Minister Alain Berset is pushing for the implementation of the measures in order to “save” Christmas and New Years celebrations. 

Maximum of two different households

The centrepiece of the mini-quarantine is a restriction on the number of households that meet, with only two – and a maximum of ten people – allowed at one time. 

Maximum of four people at tables in restaurants

The measures also include restrictions in the private sphere. 

Under the rules, only four people would be allowed to sit at a table in a restaurant. 

The four would also be allowed to come from a maximum of two households. 

Educational institutions

All face-to-face events are to be banned at educational institutions, other than teaching activities, exams or obtaining a student ID, reports the NZZ

No singing

According to the NZZ, the measures also include a ban on singing, unless it takes place in a family context. 

Professional singing is also still allowed. 

Following Germany's example?

The measures are inspired from a similar set of rules in Germany – which are also designed to ‘save Christmas’. 

According to a document sent by the Federal Office of Public Health to the cantons for consultation and obtained by the Tages Anzeiger, a range of measures are to be tightened up to and including December 23rd. 

The goal of the tightening is to ensure a “more carefree family celebration” and a relaxation of measures on New Years Eve by reducing the number of cases across the country, 20 Minutes reports

Under the plan, bars and restaurants would be allowed to stay open until 1am on New Years Eve, later than the current 11pm nationwide curfew. 

Watson reports that another goal of the plan is to ensure a safer winter sport season. 

The rules for meeting – both in public and private areas – look set to be tightened at a federal level. 

The cantons have until Wednesday to respond, Watson reports, while the Federal Council will make a decision on whether or not to implement the measures on Friday. 



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