Covid-19 rules For Members

Why Switzerland will not be celebrating a Covid-19 ‘Freedom Day’

The Local
The Local - [email protected]
Why Switzerland will not be celebrating a Covid-19 ‘Freedom Day’
Swiss Interior and health Minister Alain Berset. Image: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Switzerland looks set to relax a range of Covid measures, although anyone hoping for a UK-style ‘Freedom Day’ looks set to be disappointed.


From Wednesday, February 2nd, Switzerland is set to relax a range of Covid measures including the quarantine rules and the working from home obligation. 

On the same day, the government will meet to discuss a further relaxation of Covid measures which could include no longer requiring Covid certificates in cafes and restaurants. 

UPDATE: Swiss to end quarantine and working from home obligation from Wednesday

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announced the change at a press conference on Friday, January 28th. 

"We are in a good situation today. We can take steps forward" Berset said. 

The announcement comes despite Switzerland continually hitting record numbers of new Covid infections over the past few weeks.

Fortunately, hospitalisations and ICU admissions remain low, which experts believe is due to the less virulent nature of the Omicron variant, which now accounts for 90 percent of new infections. 

READ MORE: Covid: One in ten Swiss infected in past week

No 'freedom day' for Switzerland

Berset however said he wanted to avoid the term 'Freedom Day' for February 2nd.

The term, which has been used in the United Kingdom, has been favoured by several Swiss politicians, particularly on the conservative end of the political spectrum. 

Towards the end of January, representatives from the hospitality and tourism industries called for the term to be used widely to describe Switzerland's emergence from the pandemic. 

Berset however said he was not in favour of the term and would not be using it, even as measures were relaxed. 

"It's a warlike expression, other countries have thrown it around, not Switzerland."

"It could be a happy day. Or happy days," said Berset.


When asked about whether this signalled an end of the pandemic, Berset said he was cautiously optimistic

"Something can always happen. But the prospects are good."

"Measures that are no longer of much use today because the situation has changed must of course be rescinded.

"The Federal Council has always said that the measures are not there to stay.

"Many didn't believe us, but it was the truth. The measures are only there to create a good situation for our country."

Berset also said there were no plans to get rid of the Covid certificate requirement at this stage. 

"The obligation to obtain a certificate applies worldwide. Being able to travel is also a certain form of freedom."


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also