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Coronavirus: What are Switzerland’s rules over Easter?

Coronavirus: What are Switzerland’s rules over Easter?
Photo: AFP
Thinking of a get together or even a short break - whether in Switzerland or further afield - over the Easter period? Here’s what you need to know.

A gradual increase in coronavirus infections and the relatively slow vaccination campaign has meant that Easter looks a little more like 2020 than previous years for most of us. 

Whether it be a trip abroad (without having to test or quarantine) or a gathering with friends and family in Switzerland, coronavirus measures have scuttled Easter plans for millions of us. 

But for anyone who is still unsure of what they can do over Easter, here’s what you need to know. 

Meeting friends and family?

The rule on meeting in groups outdoors would be relaxed from five to 15 people. 

A maximum of ten people can meet indoors. 

Children are counted in the tally. 

While not a rule, the government still recommends that no more than two households meet at one time (up to the maximum number). 

Shops, museums and cultural facilities?

This is less a question of coronavirus measures and more a question of whether these facilities are allowed to open under Easter opening regulations, which can vary from canton to canton. 

However, non-essential shops and markets are allowed to open under the coronavirus rules. 

Supermarkets, pharmacies, post offices, hairdressers, gas stations, laundries, hardware stores and garden stores were not closed as part of the lockdown and therefore remain open. 

Mask requirements and capacity restrictions do however remain in place.  

Museums, libraries, zoos and botanical gardens are also allowed to open under the coronavirus rules. 

Playing sport? 

Sports facilities – including football pitches, ice rinks, tennis courts and skate parks – are again allowed to open, however only groups up to a maximum of five people will be allowed. 

Masks are mandatory and distance must be kept. 

While competitions, tournaments and events with adults are not allowed, these are allowed for children under 18. 

Skiing?

Whether ski areas can open will remain a decision for the cantons – and of course the snow gods. 

The federal government requires that cantons make their decisions to open or close ski facilities on the basis of test capacity, hospital capacity, contact tracing infrastructure and only where a ‘hygiene and safety concept’ has been provided. 

Click here to see if your favourite ski resort is open this weekend. 

Trips within Switzerland?

While residents of Switzerland have usually flocked to international destinations, holidays at home have become more attractive these days. 

READ MORE: Which of Switzerland’s neighbouring countries can you enter – and what are the rules?

Unlike in several other European countries, in Switzerland hotels and camping sites are open across the country. 

Whether a hotel or camping site will be open may depend on the cantonal authorities, so be sure to check before making a trip. 

In addition, with quarantine requirements in place for arrivals from much of the world, tourist sites in Switzerland can be expected to be a lot less busy than they otherwise might be – making it a perfect time to check out your own backyard. 

Some however are expecting large crowds. For instance, accommodation in the southern canton of Ticino is almost 98 percent booked. 

Trips abroad? 

While an Easter getaway may have been easy in the past, these days it can be a difficult undertaking – particularly if you want to be sure to avoid quarantine. 

UPDATED: What are Switzerland’s travel and quarantine rules?

According to the latest list from Swiss authorities however, there are some destinations where you could take a short break over the Easter period – without having to quarantine. 

The following report lays out the travel rules for some of the most popular Spring destinations. 

Travel: Where can Swiss residents travel to this Easter without quarantine?

Note: As with all of our covid-related reports, please remember that these are intended as a guide only. Please be sure to check with official government sources in your canton before planning your trip or event. 


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