Switzerland set to decide if restaurants can reopen in March

Switzerland set to decide if restaurants can reopen in March
AFP
Swiss authorities initially ruled that restaurants would remain closed until at least April 1st. But many cantons are pressuring the Federal Council to allow the gastronomy sector to re-open in March. The decision will be announced Wednesday afternoon.

Please note: Switzerland announced Wednesday that shops, museums and zoos can reopen from March 1, while restaurants can open from March 22nd. Click here for more information. 

While relaxing some coronavirus measures from March 1st, the Federal Council said restaurants will remain shut until April 1st, at which date only outside seating will be permitted and only if the epidemiological situation in Switzerland allows it.

In order for that to happen, a number of criteria has to be met: the infection positivity rate should fall below 5 percent, occupancy of the intensive care units by coronavirus patients should be below 25 percent, and the R-rate  — which indicates Covid’s ability to spread —must be below 1.

As all of these conditions are currently met, a number of cantons are urging the federal authorities to authorise the re-opening of restaurants already in March.

READ MORE: How restaurants could reopen by March 1st in Switzerland 

Here’s an overview of how and when various cantons want to open restaurants, as reported by SRF public broadcaster

Valais, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Schwyz, Nidwalden, Glarus, and the two Appenzells, are calling for re-opening as of March 1st.

Uri and Graubünden are also demanding the permission to re-open their outdoor areas from March 1st. Should this not be possible, the Graubünden government wants at least the possibility of seating in the vicinity of takeaways.

Lucerne and Schaffhausen did not specify the date, but both want the outdoor areas of their  restaurants to re-open in March.

Vaud would like to open at noon from March 15th for lunch service and close at 6 pm, at which time only take-away service would be allowed.

Geneva also wants to resume in mid-March.

Ticino and Fribourg are calling for the March 22nd re-opening. “The virus is still there, but the situation is under control”, said Ticino’s cantonal councillor Norman Gobbi.

However, while most cantons want to resume in March, others are backing the Federal Council’s decision to wait until April.

That is the case of Aargau, Solothurn, and Zurich.

Some cantons are not included in the list, as they have not expressed their position on the issue.


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