Switzerland to open indoor restaurants and allow larger events by end May

Switzerland to open indoor restaurants and allow larger events by end May
Switzerland on Wednesday decided it will wind back more coronavirus restrictions - including allowing restaurants to serve food indoors, letting larger events take place and exempting vaccinated people from quarantine - from May 31st.

The openings will only go ahead under the proviso that Switzerland’s coronavirus numbers remain under control until May 26th, when the decision will become formalised. 

The changes will come into effect on May 31st. 

Several of the current coronavirus measures will be relaxed. 

Restaurants will be allowed to serve people indoors at tables of up to four people. 

The quarantine for those already vaccinated will also be dropped. People who have recovered from COVID and those who have been vaccinated will be exempt from contact and travel quarantine.

The number of people allowed to gather indoors will increase from 50 to 100 people, while the cap on outdoor gatherings will increase from 100 to 300 people. 

A maximum of 30 people rather than 15 will be allowed to participate in outdoor sports. 

The decision was made on the basis of a three-phase re-opening plan that the government outlined in April.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What is Switzerland’s three-phase plan for ending Covid-19 restrictions?

Indoor sports without a mask will be capped at 15 people in the same hall. 

Contact sports such as judo or wrestling are only allowed indoors without a mask in constant groups of four people.

The area requirement for ‘quiet’ indoor sports (e.g. yoga) will be adjusted from 15 to 10 square meters per person.

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s current coronavirus measures?

Wellness centres and thermal baths will again be allowed to open, however only one person per 15 square metres will be allowed. 

Working from home, currently a requirement under Swiss law, will again become recommended rather than required. 

The cap on university lectures of 50 students will also be scrapped, provided the universities put in place effective contact tracing solutions. 

‘The openings have not had a negative impact on the pandemic’

The Federal Council said the further openings could take place due to the public’s compliance with the existing measures. 

“The population is implementing the protective measures well, the opening step of April 19, 2021 has so far not had a negative impact on the development of the epidemic.”

READ MORE:  ANALYSIS: Why are Switzerland’s coronavirus numbers falling so sharply?


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