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SWISS NATIONAL DAY

Can I celebrate Swiss National Day if I’m not vaccinated?

Officials in the canton of Zug have restricted Swiss National Day celebrations for August 1st to Covid certificate holders. Here are the rules in Switzerland.

Can I celebrate Swiss National Day if I’m not vaccinated?
For an event like this, you'll definitely need a Covid certificate. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

Switzerland’s National Day will take place on Sunday, August 1st. 

Due to the pandemic however, it is unlikely to look like previous celebrations. 

READ MORE: Why Switzerland celebrates its National Day with bonfires and brunch

Events across Switzerland have been downsized. Even the Rütli celebration on the meadow where Switzerland was founded is set to be limited to 600 people, due to pandemic measures. 

Some celebrations have however decided not to downsize. In the canton of Zug, authorities have pledged to hold the event as per normal – with one significant change. 

Only people who have a valid Covid certificate are allowed to attend the celebration, which is expecting more than 1,000 people. 

The Covid certificate must show full vaccination against the virus, recovery or a recent negative test. 

On its website, the city confirmed that access is only for those “with a valid Covid-19 certificate”. 

READ MORE: Why Switzerland celebrates its national day on August 1st

“Unfortunately, this is currently the only way to hold an event without limiting the number of participants,” Dieter Müller, Head of Communication for the City of Zug, told Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes on Wednesday. 

“Under the current conditions, the event would not have been feasible.

“It wouldn’t have been worth holding a celebration anymore.”

Some right-wing commentators have been critical of the decision and plan to protest, saying the decision “tramples on the liberal spirit of Switzerland”. 

Müller said he understood people may be against the decision “they are welcome to disagree and find this restriction good or bad”. 

What are the rules for celebrations and events? 

Of course, everyone is free to celebrate Swiss National Day in the manner that they like with or without a Covid certificate. 

However, there are restrictions on larger groups for those without a certificate.

The virus does not take holidays and these rules will not be waived for August 1st.

Events with more than 1,000 people require cantonal approval and must ask all attendees for valid Covid certificates since June 26th. 

Events without a Covid certificate can have up to 1,000 people, provided they are all seated. 

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

A maximum of 250 people can celebrate inside without a certificate and a maximum of 500 can do so outside (non seated). 

Inside venues can only be filled to two-thirds of capacity. 

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For members

SWISS NATIONAL DAY

Where are fireworks banned on Swiss National Day and where are they permitted?

Swiss National Day this Monday will look a little different because of fireworks bans in many locations, but traditional displays will go ahead in some areas.

Where are fireworks banned on Swiss National Day and where are they permitted?

Due to high temperatures and persisting drought, a number of cantons and municipalities have banned the traditional fireworks on their territory, extending the ban to open fires as well.

Certain Zurich municipalities have prohibited this practice as well, while further cantons earlier indicated they may also prohibit fireworks should they be unsafe. 

As such, private fireworks displays have been ruled out in many parts of the country and public celebrations are also affected.

READ ALSO:

Of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, some have issued total bans on open-air fires, some have issued bans covering parts of the canton, some are only permitting fires at Feuerstelle (campfire-style open-air fire pits), and some have only banned fires in forest areas.

Further below, you can see a list of locations where public fireworks displays are expected to go ahead as things stand.

Total bans

Geneva, Vaud, Freiburg, Valais, Ticino

Ban in parts of canton

Graubünden

Open fires restricted to Feuerstelle

Luzern, Zug, Schwyz, Nidwalden, Obwalden

Ban in forest areas

Neuchâtel, Jura, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Solothurn, Aargau, Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Glarus, Uri, Schaffhausen

Swiss residents whose canton or commune has introduced a ban have been notified with a flyer deposited in their mailbox.

Fines for non-compliance with this regulation range between 100 and 20,000 francs, depending on the severity of the violation and the canton or municipality where the infraction takes place.

At the current time, the following locations are still planning to go ahead with public fireworks displays, according to media Watson.

Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Schaffhausen; Lungern, Obwalden; Basel, Basel-Stadt; Murten, Freiburg; Stäfa, Zurich; Brunnen, Schwyz; Samnaun, Graubünden.

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