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COVID-19

IN DETAIL: What are Switzerland’s new relaxed coronavirus measures?

The Swiss government has announced a further relaxation of coronavirus measures from Saturday June 26th, including rules relating to travel, masks, sport, restaurants and events. Here's what you need to know.

IN DETAIL: What are Switzerland's new relaxed coronavirus measures?
Switzerland is set to relax almost all Covid measures from Monday, June 26th. Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

The Federal Council announced on Wednesday afternoon a range of remaining coronavirus measures would be relaxed. 

Switzerland on Wednesday cited a positive epidemiological development as a reason why its planned loosening of Covid measures will be more extensive than previously thought

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said the changes were “quite brave”, although he called upon members of the public to continue to be responsible.

BREAKING: Switzerland goes further than expected in new easing of Covid rules

Berset also told those who had not been vaccinated yet to do so, with half of the population expected to be vaccinated by the end of June.

Other than the measures for travel, the date for the new measures has been brought forward from the 28th to the 26th. The relaxations for travel will still take place from the 28th. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Mask rules to be lifted outdoors, in the workplace and at high schools

From June 26th, masks will no longer be required in busy, publicly accessible outdoor areas such as outdoor areas of publicly accessible venues, leisure facilities and restaurant terraces. 

Masks will no longer be required outdoors in bus stops, train stations, leisure facilities and on chair lifts. 

Masks will be required indoors, such as in underground station complexes, shopping centres etc. 

Masks will still need to be worn in indoor areas where it is impossible to check someone’s Covid immunity card or where 1.5 metres distance can’t be kept. 

Masks will also no longer be required in the workplace.

READ MORE: Switzerland to lift mask requirement in outdoor areas from June 28th

However, mask rules will remain in place where staff interact with customers, i.e. in retail outlets and restaurants.

Masks will also no longer be federally required in grammar schools, technical secondary schools and vocational schools.

However, the Federal Council indicated that some cantons may continue the existing mask rules in educational institutions.

Pubs and restaurants

Capacity restrictions will be loosened at pubs and restaurants.

Indoor and outdoor tables will no longer have an upper limit.

Rules for mandatory seating will also be lifted in outdoor areas, meaning that people will again be able to drink while standing and move around.

Pubs and restaurants will still be required to collect contact details for guests indoors and everyone moving around inside will still need to wear a mask. 

Nightclubs and discos open to those with Covid certificates

Nightclubs and discos will again be allowed to open, although entry will be restricted to those with covid certificates.

As reported by The Local Switzerland last week, nightclubs are classified as ‘red’ under Switzerland’s covid certificate rules – which means only those who have tested negative, been vaccinated or recovered from the virus will be allowed to attend.

Attendees must demonstrate compliance by bringing a Covid certificate. Click the link below for more information.  

READ MORE: What will Switzerland’s Covid-19 pass allow you to do?

There will be no masks required, no need to collect contact details and no attendance limits, provided entry is restricted only to those with Covid certificates. 

Events to be allowed again

The rules relating to events will also be relaxed, with the Covid certificate again being crucial.

Where entry is restricted to people with a Covid certificate, there will be no maximum capacity. 

Events with over 10,000 people may take place and a venue’s full capacity may be used, however venues must provide a hygiene and safety plan which shows how entry will be restricted only to people with Covid certificates. 

Cantons will need to approve events with more than 1,000 people. 

Events can take place which do not require Covid certificates, however there will be capacity and seating restrictions. 

If people are seated, a max of 1,000 people may attend. 

If people are standing, the max will be 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors. 

Masks must be worn where food and drink is served. 

Events and concerns involving dancing are not allowed, although masks are not required outdoors. 

Private events can take place without masks with a max of 30 people (indoors) and 50 people (outdoors). 

Working from home no longer mandatory

Working from home will no longer be an obligation, however the government still recommends people work from home where possible. 

Mandatory testing schemes in the workplace have now been dropped. 

Sport

Capacity restrictions on outdoor and indoor sport will be wound back. Masks no longer need to be worn with indoor or outdoor sport, although contact details must be kept for outdoor sport. 

Travel

Quarantine requirements and other entry restrictions will be completely dropped for people entering from the Schengen area. 

Only travellers entering from non-Schengen countries which have a high prevalence of Covid variants would face entry restrictions. As of June 23rd, this includes Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa, Nepal, and the UK.

From outside the Schengen zone, Switzerland is set to open up to vaccinated travellers. 

This includes people from the United States. 

“In view of the positive developments in the epidemiological situation and the progress made in the field of vaccination, the Federal Council is proposing to greatly relax the prescriptions and health measures at the border for people entering Switzerland”, authorities said.

This means not only that there would no longer be any testing or quarantine requirements for vaccinated arrivals for citizens of Schengen area states, but also for those coming from third nations, that is, countries outside the EU / EFLA.

Filling out the passenger locator form will still be obligatory for all passengers arriving by air, but not for those using land transportation.

More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Switzerland set to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers, including Americans

The measures and how they have been relaxed are laid out on the official Federal Office of Public Health website here.

Member comments

  1. Presumably UK nationals will not be able to download the Covid Certificate, in which case, will the NHS App proving double jab status be accepted? For example, to gain admittance to an event.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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