SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

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.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

COVID-19

OUTLOOK: Could Switzerland introduce Covid rules this autumn?

After several months of a relatively low number of coronavirus cases in Switzerland, the rate of infections rose by over 22 percent in a span of seven days this week. What measures are Swiss health officials planning to prevent a new wave?

OUTLOOK: Could Switzerland introduce Covid rules this autumn?

The Swiss government has said that “further waves of infections are to be expected in the fall/winter of 2022/2023″.

As in previous waves, “the main objective of managing the pandemic is to prevent an overload of the health system. It is currently difficult to predict the magnitude of the waves of infection and, therefore, the burden on the healthcare system”, it added.

According to current estimates, “it can be assumed that ordinary structures will be sufficient to manage the situation”.

However, unless new, deadly variants emerge in the near future, health officials  expect the new wave to be milder than the ones  that struck in the winter of 2020 and 2021.

There are several reasons for this optimism:

Higher immunity

Due to vaccinations and infections, “it is estimated that 97 percent of the Swiss population has been in contact with the virus”, which means that “immunity within the population is currently high”, authorities said.

Lighter course

This means that unlike the early Covid strains like Alpha and Delta, which were highly virulent, the latest dominant mutation — Omicron and its subvariants — while highly contagious, are also less dangerous for most people.

New vaccines

The new version of the Moderna vaccine, which should better target certain sub-variants of Omicron, will be rolled in Switzerland from October 10th.

Compared to the original vaccine, which was effective mostly against early strains and offered no protection against Omicron, “the new vaccine produces a stronger immune response against the Omicron variants BA.1 and BA.4/5″, according to the drug regulatory body, Swissmedic.

READ MORE: BREAKING: Switzerland approves new Covid-19 boosters

Is the government planning any specific measures this winter?

While the severity of the new wave is not yet known, authorities have made several ‘just-in-case’ provisions by, for instance, extending the Covid-19 law until June 2024.

This legislation, which was approved in a referendum in November 2021, allows the Federal Council to maintain and apply emergency measures that are necessary to manage the pandemic. Without the extension, ithe law would lapse in December of this year.

READ MORE: Covid-19 law: How Switzerland reacted to the referendum results

“No one wants to reactivate the Covid law. But after two years of the pandemic, we have understood that we must be ready”, said MP Mattea Meyer.

While no mask mandates or other restrictions are being discussed at this time, the re-activated legislation would allow the authorities to quickly introduce any measures they deem necessary, according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

More preparations from the cantons

As it would be up to the cantons to apply measures set by the federal government, some have asked that financing be made available in case regional hospitals have to again accommodate patients from other cantons.

They are also making sure enough intensive care beds are ready for Covid patients.

What about the Covid certificate and tracing?

Though it is no longer used in Switzerland, the certificate continues to be required abroad.

The government will ensure its international compatibility.

The legal basis for the SwissCovid tracking app will also remain in force and can be reactivated during the winter of 2023/2024, if necessary.

MPs are also debating possible rules to be enforced for cross-border workers in the event of border closures.

SHOW COMMENTS