EXPLAINED: What is Switzerland's 2G-Plus rule?
When the Federal Council announced the ‘2G’ rule to go into effect in Switzerland on December 20th, it also referred to ‘2G-Plus’ in certain situations. What is this ‘plus’ rule and when must it be used?
If you haven’t been reading news lately and are confused about what all these Gs stand for, here’s a quick explanation.
Until recently, most countries in Europe adhered to the ‘3G’ rule, which in German means Geimpft, Genesen, Getestet (vaccinated, recovered, tested).
3G-compliant venues would mandate that attendees needed to be either vaccinated, recovered or have tested negative for the virus.
However, as the epidemiological situation got worse, countries like Austria, Germany, France, and now also Switzerland, adopted the ‘2G’ measure, dropping “tested” from the rule.
This means that people who have not been fully vaccinated or have not recovered from Covid within the past four months, cannot access indoor venues and events such as restaurants — as long as food can be consumed while sitting at a table — cultural establishments, as well as sports and leisure facilities.
In practical terms, this means that people wanting to access indoor venues and activities will have to show their Covid certificate to prove they are eligible under one of the two categories.
Those who are unvaccinated or not recovered from Covid, but merely tested, are no longer allowed entry under the new rules.
What about the ‘2G-Plus’?
One aspect of the new measures in place since December 20th is the 2G-Plus rule.
It is intended to prevent the spread of the virus in places where certain protective measures can't be maintained.
It applies in situations where the requirement to be seated while eating or drinking can’t be met — for example in bars and clubs — and masks can’t be worn.
“In settings where masks cannot be worn, such as brass band practice, or where it is not possible to eat or drink while seated, admission will be limited to vaccinated or recovered persons who also present a negative test result,” the Federal Council said when it announced the new rules on Friday.
However, “people who within the last four months have been fully vaccinated, received a booster or recovered from COVID-19 do not have to take a further test”, authorities said.
What does this mean?
if you are have not been inoculated against Covid or recovered from it within the last four months, you need a test (PCR or antigen) to go to any places where seating is not guaranteed and where masks can’t be worn.
The same applies if you have been fully vaccinated or recovered more than four months ago and have not had a booster shot since then.
Since December 18th, testing has again been free in Switzerland.
These rules will be in place until January 24th, 2022, at the earliest.