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Swiss police use concrete to block access to Covid sceptic restaurant

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 1 Nov, 2021 Updated Mon 1 Nov 2021 16:00 CEST
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Concrete blocks in front of a restaurant in Zermatt. Image: Serena Tinari/Twitter

Police in Switzerland have placed several large concrete blocks in front of a bar in the canton of Valais after the bar owners repeatedly refused to enforce the country's Covid measures.

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After the owner of the Walliserkanne restaurant in Zermatt (Valais) failed to comply several times with the obligation to check the customers’ Covid certificates, local police took a drastic measure of installing cement blocks in front of the entrance.

Covid certificates - which show that someone has been fully vaccinated, recovered or has tested negative to the virus - have been required to eat and drink in indoor areas in Switzerland since mid-September. 

Canton-by-canton: How visitors can get Switzerland’s Covid certificate

According to the media, while the operation was taking place, one of the owners - a die-hard Covid sceptic who repeatedly defied the certificate rule and the order to shut down his restaurant - threatened law enforcement that he would get his gun.

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Both owners were arrested by the police on Sunday morning.

While jail terms can be handed down for businesses failing to comply with Covid certificate requirements, a legal expert told Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes that jail terms appeared unlikely

A fine of up to CHF10,000 can be levied, while jail time is also possible in aggravated cases. 

The story has since gone viral on social media, with supporters and opponents of the restaurant owners sharing pictures of the concrete blocks placed out the front of the restaurant.  

Some internet users have claimed that one of the restaurant owners has since been hospitalised, however this has not been confirmed by police. 

https://twitter.com/serenatinari/status/1454848576471932938

https://twitter.com/LuanaNussbaum/status/1455184861195603974

https://twitter.com/mass_voll/status/1454471726469898241

https://twitter.com/M_Ziesmann/status/1454413922338021376

https://twitter.com/KurtPelda/status/1455137100349706240

The brouhaha is taking place as Zermatt, a popular resort at the foot of the Matterhorn, is preparing to begin its ski season on December 4th.

READ MORE: Winter sports: Which Swiss ski resorts are already open?

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The Local 2021/11/01 16:00

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