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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, in @zermatt_tourism Family-ran restaurant #Walliserkanne refuses to serve only people having a #CovidPass – everyone is welcome. @PolizeiWallis covered its entrance with these blocks 😳 then arrested the owners, one of which landed in a hospital. Is this public health? pic.twitter.com/2KwUDOScym
— Serena Tinari (@serenatinari) October 31, 2021
— Luana Nussbaum (@LuanaNussbaum) November 1, 2021
— MASS-VOLL💜 (@mass_voll) October 30, 2021
Gastwirte wollen alle Gäste im Sinne von Art. 14 EMRK gleich behandeln und der @CantonduValais lässt Betonblöcke aufstellen, wie man es zum Schutz vor Terroristen von deutschen Weihnachtsmärkten kennt. Bilder aus #Zermatt, die gerade um die Welt gehen. #Walliserkanne #Schweiz pic.twitter.com/UyzYOZ2YpG
— Michael Ziesmann (@M_Ziesmann) October 30, 2021
— Kurt Pelda (@KurtPelda) November 1, 2021
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.