At an extraordinary meeting on Monday 16 March 2020, the Federal Council further tightened up measures to protect the population.
It reclassified the situation in Switzerland as an "extraordinary situation" in accordance with the Epidemics Act. All shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment and leisure facilities will be closed until 19 April 2020. Exceptions are, among other things, grocery stores and health facilities. It will also introduce controls at the borders with Germany, Austria and France. The Federal Council has authorised the deployment of up to 8000 military personnel to support the cantons in hospitals, logistics and security.
In view of the accelerated spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Council is further tightening measures to protect the population. It reclassifies the situation in Switzerland as an “extraordinary situation” in accordance with the Epidemics Act. It allows the Federal Council to order uniform measures in all cantons. It has previously informed the cantons of this step.
Public and private events have been prohibited. All shops, markets, restaurants, bars and entertainment and leisure facilities such as museums, libraries, cinemas, concert halls and theatres, sports centres, swimming pools and ski resorts will be closed. Likewise, businesses where keeping a distance cannot be maintained, such as hairdressing salons or beauty salons, will be closed.
The supply of the entire population with food, medicine and goods for daily use is guaranteed, and sufficient stocks have been built up. Grocery stores, takeaways, company canteens, delivery services for meals and pharmacies remain open, as do petrol stations, railway stations, banks, post offices, hotels, public administration and social institutions. Workshops for transport vehicles can also remain open.
All these facilities must comply with the recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health regarding distance and hygiene. Hospitals, clinics and doctors' surgeries remain open, but must refrain from medical interventions and therapies that are not urgently indicated. People at particular risk do their work at home. If this is not possible, they are given leave by the employer. They continue to receive their wages.
The Federal Council also calls on the population to avoid all unnecessary contact, to keep their distance and to follow the hygiene measures. In particular, it also calls on the older population to stay at home.