UPDATE: French-speaking Swiss cantons now subject to strict coronavirus rules

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UPDATE: French-speaking Swiss cantons now subject to strict coronavirus rules
Swiss-French cantons are closing their restaurants again. Photo by AFP.

Vaud, Neuchâtel and Valais must now comply with Switzerland’s Covid-19 restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.


The three cantons have decided to end their exemption status starting from midnight on January 3rd.

They, along with three other Swiss-French cantons — Geneva, Fribourg and Jura — were freed from the restrictions that the Federal Council implemented on December 22nd. 

These measures included the closing of all bars and restaurants, as well as sports and culture venues, until at least January 22nd.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Switzerland to close all restaurants amid new move to stem Covid-19 surge

But the least-affected cantons, where the R-rate remained below 1 for more than a week, could decide to ease the restrictions and keep their restaurants and other venues open.

At the time, the R-rate — a measure of the speed at which the disease is spreading — was just below 1 in the French- speaking part of Switzerland, so these cantons were exempt from following national rules.

However, the rate in Vaud, Neuchâtel and Valais has now exceeded 1, forcing the cantons to comply with the federal measures.

The other three French cantons have already been following federal restrictions — Jura from December 22nd, Geneva from the 23rd, and Fribourg from the 26th.



As a reminder, these measures, which are now uniform throughout Switzerland, include: 

  • The closing of bars, restaurants, discotheques, night clubs, museums, libraries, cinemas, as well as other entertainment, cultural, and recreational activities.
  • Shops and service establishments such as hairdressers, can stay open, with the exception of Sundays. Only bakeries and pharmacies can be opened on Sunday.
  • The number of persons who may be in a shop at any given time will be restricted. The maximum number depends on the size of the store.

Exceptions are:

  • Company or school canteens.
  • Hotel restaurants and bars, but only for their customers. They must close at 11 pm.
  • Food takeout and delivery services.
  • Ski areas remain open but restaurants in resorts and on slopes must close.

READ MORE: Switzerland rejects further coronavirus lockdown despite 'worrying' situation 




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