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IN DETAIL: Which Covid measures will the Swiss government decide to relax on Wednesday?

The Swiss government will announce a further relaxation of coronavirus measures on Wednesday afternoon, including rules relating to travel, masks, sport, restaurants and events. Here's what we know so far.

IN DETAIL: Which Covid measures will the Swiss government decide to relax on Wednesday?
Switzerland looks set to relax mask rules from June 28th. Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

The Federal Council will announce its decision this afternoon about which coronavirus measures should be further relaxed, with the changes expected to come into place from June 28th. 

The restrictions that the government would relax include upping the number of people allowed to gather together in and outdoors, permitting more people to sit at tables inside restaurants as well as on terraces, and lifting of mask requirements for outdoors.

Vaccinated tourists from third nations will also be allowed to come to Switzerland from next Wednesday.

Authorities have previously said these restrictions will be relaxed if the epidemiological situation and outlook remain good.

Here’s what you need to know. 

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

From June 28th, masks will no longer be required in busy, publicly accessible outdoor areas. 

Masks are currently required outdoors in bus stops, train stations, leisure facilities and on chair lifts. 

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. 

While the number of people per table will be raised from four to six, 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 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?

A maximum of 250 people will be allowed to attend, but masks will not be required provided. 

Venues must collect contact details. 

Events to be allowed again

The rules relating to events will also be relaxed. Up to 1000 people can take part in an event without a covid certificate if they are seated, while the maximum for standing events will be 250 people. 

These limits apply both indoors and outdoors. 

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

Sport

Capacity restrictions on outdoor and indoor sport will be wound back, while indoor sports will still be required to have masks provided distance cannot be kept. 

Travel

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

Only countries in the Schengen region which have a high prevalence of Covid mutations would face entry restrictions. As at 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

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For members

LEARNING FRENCH

How to talk email, websites, social media and phone numbers in Swiss French

It's a very common experience to have to give out your phone number or email address in Switzerland, or take down the address of a website, so here's how to do this if you're in the French-speaking part of the country.

How to talk email, websites, social media and phone numbers in Swiss French

The correct names for punctuation marks used to be fairly low down on any French-learner’s list, but these days they are vital whenever you need to explain an email address, website or social media account.

Likewise if you want to talk about websites, or social media posts, there are some things that you need to know. 

Punctuation

Obviously punctuation points have their own names, and making sure you get the periods, dashes and underscores correct is vital to giving out account details. 

Full stop/period . point. Pronounced pwan, this is most commonly heard for Swiss websites or email addresses which end in. ch (pronounced pwan ce ash).

If you have a site that ends in .com you say ‘com’ as a word just as you would in English – pwan com.

At symbol @ Arobase – so for example the email address [email protected] would be jean pwan dupont arobas bluewin pwan ce ash.

Ampersand/and symbol & esperluette

Dash – tiret

Underscore _ tiret bas 

Forward slash / barre oblique

Upper case/capital lettersMajuscule (or lettre majuscule)

Lower caseminiscule

The following punctuation points are less common in email or web addresses, but worth knowing anyway:

Comma , virgule. In French a decimal point is indicated with a comma so two and a half would be 2,5 (deux virgule cinq)

Exclamation mark ! point d’exclamation – when you are writing in French you always leave a space between the final letter of the word and the exclamation mark – comme ça !

Question mark ? point d’interrogation – likewise, leave a space between the final character and a question mark 

Brackets/parentheses ( ) parenthèse

Quotation marks « » guillemets 

Numbers

If you need to give your phone number out, the key thing to know is that Swiss-French people pair the numbers in a phone number when speaking.

So say your number is 079 345 6780, in French you would say zero septante-neuf, trois-cents quarante-cinq, soixante-sept, huitante (zero seventy-nine, three hundred forty-five, sixty-seven, eighty ).

Mobile numbers in Switzerland  begin with 079 or 078 (zero septante-neuf or zero septante-huit).

Social media

If you want to give out your Twitter or Instagram handle, the chances are you might need to know some punctuation terms as described above.

Otherwise the good news is that a lot of English-language social media terms are used in Switzerland too.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have the same names in Switzerland and have entered the language in other ways too, for example you might describe your dinner as très instagrammable – ie it’s photogenic and would look good on Instagram.

On Twitter you can suivre (follow), aimer (like) or retweet (take a wild guess). You’ll often hear the English words for these terms too, though pronounced with a French accent.

There is a French translation for hashtag – it’s dièse mot, but in reality hashtag is also very widely used.

Tech is one of those areas where new concepts come along so quickly that the English terms often get embedded into everyday use before the French-speakers can think up an alternative.

READ MORE: French-speaking Switzerland: Seven life hacks that will make you feel like a local

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