Relaxations in Switzerland: Almost back to normal

Photo by Nadine MarfurtWith surprisingly large steps, Switzerland frees its citizens from restrictions introduced in the fight against the coronavirus. The way close to the longed-for normality occurs already this Saturday. This will also benefit tourists who want to spend their summer vacation in the Swiss mountains. Because the government in Bern relaxed the requirements for entries on Wednesday: For those coming from other Schengen member states, the quarantine requirement is waived. Only those who arrive by plane and are neither vaccinated nor recovered must be tested for Corona beforehand.

Even vaccinated and recovered persons from countries where the delta variant is dominant (such as India and Great Britain) do not need a negative test from now on and are not subject to quarantine. The government in Bern justifies this with the vaccines used in Switzerland. These offer only slightly reduced and thus still very high protection against the delta variant. From the point of view of Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset, the mutations are therefore "not so worrying," as he said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is apparently not quite so relaxed about the delta variant. The fact that in Israel, despite high vaccination rates, more than 100 infected people were counted in one day, "has also startled us," said FOPH Director Patrick Mathys. These cases are now being processed in order to draw the necessary conclusions for Switzerland.

In Switzerland, only the mRNA vaccines from BionNTech and Moderna have been vaccinated to date. In the process, the country is now making rapid progress after a bumpy start. "We expect half of the Swiss population to be double vaccinated by the end of June," said Berset, who praised the population for its disciplined behavior. Asked if the risk was not too great until everyone was vaccinated, the minister said, "We see a subdued development of the pandemic, that allows certain openings." At the same time, he cautioned that the pandemic is not over. "All of these steps are bold. But we can't get overconfident." The seven-day incidence in Switzerland is currently 13.2 new infections per 100,000 population. In Germany, that figure is 7.2.

In Switzerland, masks must generally no longer be worn outdoors from Saturday onwards. The home office obligation will be replaced by a corresponding recommendation. A mask no longer has to be worn in the workplace. The capacity restrictions in stores, recreational facilities and sports facilities will be lifted; however, the mask requirement will remain in place for the time being. In restaurants, any number of people may sit at a table from now on; inside, however, guests must continue to wear a mask. Those who can show a vaccination certificate will be allowed to visit discos, clubs and concerts without a mask. Large events with any number of visitors are allowed, provided they have the appropriate certificate.



Photo by Nadine Marfurt

 


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