How some Swiss restaurants are getting around the Covid certificate requirement

How some Swiss restaurants are getting around the Covid certificate requirement
Indoor / outdoor dining for clients without Covid certificate. Photo by Hostellerie du Château, Rolle / Facebook
The extension of the certificate went into effect in Switzerland his week, but some restaurant owners have already found ways to get round the new rule without breaking the law.

Starting on September 13th, the Covid certificate is compulsory to access almost all indoor areas in Switzerland, including restaurants and bars.

This means that only people who are vaccinated, recovered from coronavirus or tested negative are allowed into indoor areas of restaurants and bars, and staff must check each customer’s certificate.

READ MORE: TODAY: Switzerland extends Covid certificate for entry to restaurants and bars

But while most restaurant owners have grudgingly accepted the new rule, some have found ways to circumvent the requirement in all legality.

In certain cases, they have taken drastic steps of closing the indoor spaces of restaurants and serving food only outdoors, where Covid certificates are not required.

This is the case at Au Bec Gourmand in Sierre, canton Valais. Its owner, Enzo Astore, decided to serve meals only on the terrace.

 “It would be unfair to segregate my clients, accept some and refuse others. It is not part of my values. I will treat everyone in the same way”, he said in an interview with Watson news site.

“I cannot bear to cause rifts among my clientele. A public establishment must remain public”, he added.

In case of rain or cold weather, “I’ll do take-away”, Astore said.

The owners of Seehuis restaurant in Giswil, Obwalden made a similar decision, planning to serve meals only on its terrace.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are vaccinated, recovered, tested, with or without a certificate. All are welcome on our cozy terrace. We are against discrimination!”, the restaurant posted on its website and social media.

The Hostellerie du Château, a restaurant located in Rolle, canton Vaud, also found an innovative way to accept all clients.

It is offering its outdoor “cabins” — which resemble cable cars that transport skiers to and from the slopes — to customers without the Covid certificate.

Each cabin accommodates only one table, ensuring only a limited number of diners.

“These cabins were to be used from next winter, but I don’t want to refuse a client because they are not vaccinated. We therefore decided to use these cabins now, ” said Nicoline Anjema Robin, the restaurant’s owner.

But perhaps the most drastic step was taken by the Braui restaurant in Berneck, St.Gallen, which closed its doors permanently in response to new measures,

“The philosophy of being able to serve all guests equally can no longer be practiced with the certificate requirement”, said owner Mike Egger.

READ MORE: ‘Flagrant inequality of treatment’: How Switzerland reacted to Covid certificate extension

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