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Covid-19 law: How Switzerland reacted to the referendum results

Swiss voters have firmly backed the Covud-19 law
Protesters demonstrate in front of the parliament in Bern following the result a nationwide vote on a Covid-19 law November 28, 2021. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Mostly positive feedback has poured in after the majority of Swiss voters backed their government’s pandemic management policy on Sunday.

After a heated political campaign, 62 percent of voters opposed attempts by some groups to scrap Switzerland’s regulations to combat the pandemic.

Opponents of the Covid-19 legislation, and specifically the revision pertaining to the Covid certificate, launched the nationwide referendum, claiming the certificate requirement that is currently in place until at least January 24th, 2022 creates discrimination and division within society and implicitly forces vaccination.

READ MORE: What’s at stake in Switzerland’s Covid referendum on November 28th?

Most political parties, along with business groups, praised the referendum results.

“Democracy works,” said Health Minister Alain Berset, adding that the referendum  “is an important signal for the pandemic policy of the cantons, parliament and the Federal Council”.

This positive reaction is shared by middle-of-the-road and left-leaning parties alike.

Die Mitte / Le Centre party tweeted that it is reassured by the referendum’s outcome “and will continue to engage in constructive solutions to fight the pandemic”.

As for the Liberals (FDP/PLR),  they “welcome the strong support of the Swiss for the Covid-19 law, thus making it possible to fight effectively against the pandemic and its consequences…the legitimacy of the law is clearly established”.

Social Democrats praised “the confirmation of the policy to combat the health, economic and social effects of the pandemic”, while for the Greens ”this pragmatic ‘yes’ to the Covid law means that the electorate does not want to make a clean sweep of all the management of the crisis”.

The reaction is also positive in the economic circles.

The Swiss Employers’ Association said government measures “have proved their worth and will not be abruptly interrupted”.

Trade unions are also praising the results of the vote, because it “takes into account the interests of society and the economy”, according to the Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts.

As for Swiss Trade Union Federation, “it welcomes the decision of the people in view of the very unpredictable evolution of the epidemic. The guarantee of jobs and wages must continue to go hand in hand with all the necessary actions to stem the spread of the pandemic”.

However, not everyone in Switzerland is happy with the results.

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the only one of Switzerland’s parties to oppose the Covid legislation, said that “it takes note of the voters’ ‘yes’ to the tightened Covid-19 law with regret. It also warned that  the ensuing “social unrest can cause with unforeseeable consequences”.

The Friends of the Constitution, the group which spearheaded the anti-Covid law referendum, criticised the “disinformation” which preceded the vote and vowed to continue it opposition to the law.

READ MORE: Swiss voters back Covid pass law


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