What are the penalties for breaking Switzerland’s coronavirus rules?

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What are the penalties for breaking Switzerland’s coronavirus rules?
Police can fine those who break coronavirus rules on the spot. Photo by AFP

The Swiss Conference of Prosecutors (SSK) has adopted a uniform set of sanctions for non-compliance with the country's Covid-19 restrictions.


The fines will be the same throughout the country, regardless of the canton in which infractions occur.

“The aim of the SSK is to harmonise the application of the law in Switzerland as much as possible”, the organisation said on its website

It added, however, that the final decision “is up to the prosecuting authorities”.

These are the recommended penalties for individual offenders:

  • Avoiding quarantine or isolation: 1,000 to 1,500 francs
  • Not wearing a mask where it is compulsory to do so: 250 francs
  • Gatherings of more than 15 people in public: 100 francs
  • Avoiding medical supervision: 800 to 1,000 francs

For restaurant owners and organisers of events, the fines are as follows:

  • Serving food and drinks to people not seated at a table: 500 francs
  • Not having a health protection plan in place: 2,000 francs
  • Insufficient protection plan: 500 to 1,000 francs
  • Non-compliance with official health rules: 500 francs
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people: 2,000 francs



Other measures:

Earlier in December, the National Council put in place a range of changes to the Covid-19 regulation. 

As a result of the changes, police will now be able to issue on-the-spot fines for ‘mask refusers’, i.e. people who do not comply with the country’s strict coronavirus mask requirement, as well as to those who exceed limits on public meetings and do not respect social distancing rules.

READ MORE: Swiss police can now issue on-the-spot fines for mask refusers 

Previously, police would issue violators with tickets, which would then be forwarded to a magistrate, who would decide how high the penalty would be and whether it would indeed be imposed.

In practice, few fines have been handed out to individuals so far.

However, at least one case was reported by the media in November: a woman in Grenchen, canton Solothurn, was fined 1,500 francs plus 400 francs in administrative costs for breaking her quarantine. 




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