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Intentionally contracting Covid in Switzerland carries five-year jail term

Covid infection parties are becoming more popular in Switzerland, although authorities have confirmed that the practice is illegal.

The University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV). AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)
The University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV). AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) confirmed this week that intentionally contracting Covid-19 is illegal and leaves you liable to a prison sentence of up to five years. 

Some vaccine-skeptic people in Switzerland go to great lengths to catch coronavirus so they can receive a Covid certificate after recovery.

They apparently advertise on social media looking for contaminated people who can transmit the virus to them.

However, this practice is not only dangerous, but also illegal. Contracting coronavirus on purpose is a criminal offence, punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, RTS reported.

The FOPH said that not only is the practice illegal, but it’s dangerous – both for the person contracting the virus and for others as purposefully getting Covid meant it was more likely to spread further. 

“This contributes to accelerate the transmission of the virus and the gravity of the epidemic. People are taking risks (which endanger) their relatives and for society”, 

While advocates of contracting the virus rather than being vaccinated argue that the immunity is stronger, doctors say this is not always the case due to the unpredictable nature of the virus. 

Contracting the virus can also produce unpredictable side effects, which experts say are far more dangerous than the vaccine itself.

Claude-François Robert, a cantonal doctor in Neuchâtel, told Switzerland’s RTS he “strongly advised against self-infection. Nothing can be controlled with natural infection, we have a ten times higher risk of myocarditis by natural infection than by the vaccine. 

“The vaccine is a safe product.”

Member comments

  1. I understand that the government has a duty of care to the population at large but at what point is it overstepping it’s role? Pandemics have been with us since the dawn of time. Yes, we have some ability to intervene with vaccines and other marvels of the times in which we live. But this smacks of authoritarianism. Let people do what they want to. Lest we forget, the government is very much in the business of death: it lets us drive, it lets us smoke, it lets us do all manner of things that are risky. Now it’s time to leave us to manage our own bodies and affairs as regards this pandemic.

    1. Pandemics might have been with us for long time but they cost us many millions of lives every time. These people want to live like medieval peasants in the 21st century but unfortunately they don’t want to die like them. They don’t have decency to stay out of hospitals and put healthcare under huge pressure. It’s not free, you know. It costs billions and money don’t grow on trees like apricots. This disease is plenty deadly and highly contagious, because 99.5% survival rate is abysmally low for infectious illness that spreads like wildfire. And it’s sadly not just them who die, but elderly and immunocompromised too. They are pushing this risk onto everyone, without asking permission or forgiveness. People are made to wait additional 6 months of misery for hip replacements because too many ICU beds are occupied by people who did “their own research”. It’s unethical to deny them medical treatment, even that they do not care if treatment will have to be denied to others because they are taking up the beds, so they have to be restricted to reduce the possibility of them (and those they infect) needing these beds.

      Letting people do what they want smacks of anarchy. People live in a society and therefore there will always be rules, even that overgrown toddlers don’t understand it.

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Covid boosters not available in Switzerland until autumn

The Swiss government will not make second Covid boosters available until autumn, saying those who are currently fully vaccinated face a low risk of contracting the virus.

Covid boosters not available in Switzerland until autumn

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced on Tuesday that second Covid booster shots for general population will be available in the fall, “when the risk for individuals and the burden on the healthcare system will be greatest”.

While Switzerland had a widespread booster shot campaign against Covid, the government has been reluctant to approve second boosters other than for those in vulnerable categories. 

Right now, those with a weakened immune system and people over the age of 80 are the only ones eligible. 

People not in those risk groups who want a second booster will need to pay out of pocket for the jab. 

This may be people who feel they are in a risk group but are not included in the government’s list, or those who need a booster for travelling abroad. 

People who are travelling to countries where proof of up-to-date immunisation is required but whose Covid certificates are no longer valid, can receive the fourth dose but upon request have to pay for the shot.

Previously, all Covid boosters have been free for Swiss citizens and residents, with the government electing to cover the costs. 

How much will a Covid booster for travel cost? 

While the federal government previously covered the costs of the vaccines, it is now up to individual vaccination centres to set a price for a second booster. 

A spokesperson from the FOPH told The Local on Wednesday that the cost tends to be around CHF60 across much of the country. 

Please keep in mind that this cost only relates to second booster shots for those not in vulnerable categories. For those wanting their first booster – or indeed their first or second shot of the vaccine – the government will continue to cover the costs.