2G: Switzerland targets unvaccinated with new Covid measures
Switzerland will step up anti-Covid measures on Monday with a return to working from home and curbs on the unvaccinated, as the country battles an intense fifth wave of the virus.
The new measures come as authorities anticipate the arrival of the highly-mutated Omicron variant, believed to be more contagious than previous strains.
"Only people who have been vaccinated or cured will have access to inside spaces at restaurants, cultural establishments and sports and leisure facilities, as well as to indoor events," the country's Federal Council said in a statement.
Private gatherings will be limited to 10 people, including children, if anyone among the group is not vaccinated or cannot show proof of recovery.
The measures are aimed at preventing new infections among the unvaccinated "because they more easily transmit the virus and are more frequently faced with complications", it added.
The vast majority of patients in intensive care in Switzerland, as elsewhere, are unvaccinated. Their number "has tripled in a month and a half", Health Minister Alain Berset told reporters.
As of Monday, Switzerland had at least 300 Covid patients in intensive care, which it sees as a critical development. "This figure will increase to 350 or 400 by the end of the year," the statement said.
More than 66 percent of Switzerland's population of 8.6 million has been vaccinated, with Pfizer and Moderna jabs authorised for use in the country.