Switzerland announces new Covid measures to apply from Monday

Switzerland has announced further restrictions mainly targeting the unvaccinated, along with reinstating the obligation to work from home and again making testing free.

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announces a change in the country's Covid-19 rules. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announces a change in the country's Covid-19 rules. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Switzerland will tighten Covid measures amid a worsening situation in the country, the government announced on Friday afternoon.

The measures will apply from Monday, December 20th. 

While the Covid certificate will be restricted only to the vaccinated and recovered, the toughest measures forecast last weekend – which included the complete closure of bars, restaurants and events – has been left off the table. 

‘They endanger everyone’: Your verdict on Switzerland’s ‘lockdown for the unvaccinated’

Under the new rules, only vaccinated and recovered people will be able to access restaurants, cultural, sports and leisure facilities as well as events. 

Masks will be required and people must also have an allocated seat. 

Clubs, discos and bars without allocated seating will be restricted to vaccinated and recovered people who can also show a recent negative test. This is known as 2G+. 

The government has also agreed to cover the costs of testing for the purposes of the Covid certificate. Testing for travel abroad will not be covered by the government. 

The entry rules will be relaxed, whereby people only need to show one test on entry (either PCR or antigen). The PCR test can be up to 72 hours old, the antigen test must be less than 24 hours old.

Vaccinated and recovered people do not need to show another test 4-7 days after. 

More information about the changes is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Switzerland to relax arrival test rules from Monday

Private meetings will also be restricted. Indoors where at least one unvaccinated person is present, the maximum number of people is ten. Only people aged 16 and over count towards the tally. 

If the entire group is vaccinated, the limit is 30 people – and 50 people if the event takes place outside. 

Working from home will again be mandatory for everyone who is able to do it. 

Not urgent surgeries will be postponed and masks will be required in secondary schools. 

The measures are in place until at least January 24th, 2022. 

The official government page is available here. 

Member comments

  1. 3G, 2G, 2G+, I am seriously worried that we are in a situation where so called modellers claim things without much evidence, which a large fraction of the public believes in, and in the end it will just tear the society apart.

    1. I disagree. It is only government incompetence that will be exposed. All the behavioural data suggests that people are largely supportive of sensible precautions. And those who put their rights to not protect their neighbours first have to live with the consequences of their asocial behaviour.

  2. In terms of private meetings indoors, are you sure that children do not count towards the 10 person limit? The SRF website says that children do count.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”