Coronavirus now affects the Saanenland

Tue, 03. Mar. 2020
The shelves at the major distributor Coop are partly bought up. (Blanca Burri)

The coronavirus poses a challenge for Switzerland. Since Friday, 28 February to mid-March all events with over 1,000 participants have been cancelled. The effects are also being felt in Saanenland: the memorial concert for Alberto Lysy could not take place in the church of Saanen.

The Basel Fasnacht is cancelled, hockey games take place without an audience and  football games do not take place at all. After the Federal Council banned all events with more than 1000 people, the cantonal crisis management group (KFO) has also decided on further measures. "For the time being, events with less than 1000 people and international participation must also be banned," says the corresponding media release from last Friday. The commemorative concert for Alberto Lysy last Saturday evening was therefore cancelled.

Provide evidence
Events with less than 1000 people are still possible. "A prerequisite is that the organisers can prove that no persons are present who have travelled from regions affected by Covid-19 in the preceding 14 days", writes the cantonal authority. In addition, all spectators and organisers must be entered on a list with telephone number and/or e-mail address so they can be contacted later in the event of a corona virus case. All measures will be held up at least until 15 March 2020.

School operations continue
For the time being, schools throughout the canton will remain open. School closures would be ordered by the cantonal physician and communicated as quickly as possible through the relevant channels.

Hospital are prepared
As media spokeswoman Marie-Anne Perrot emphasises, Spital STS AG is prepared for the situation. So far two cases occurred in the canton of Bern, both of which are located in Biel.

Crisis group at work
Yesterday Monday morning the regional crisis management group (RFO) assessed the situation in our region. The responsible parties state that the population must comply with the recommendations of the federal office of public health (FOPH). They also stress that the appearance of the novel virus is a national matter. For this reason, the measures taken by the communes of Saanen and Gsteig and Lauenen are based on the recommendations of the confederation and the canton.

Shops and associations
In the sports centre the registration obligation does not apply. "The chlorine kills the viruses, therefore they cannot be transmitted", explains managing director Ruedi Kunz. For the time being, no adjustments will be made at the hockey school either, says Kunz, who is also president of the Gstaad-Saanenland hockey club.

At the local supermarket Coop, it is noticeable that the shelves of rice and pasta are partly empty. This points to the great insecurity of the population. However, Coop assures that they are prepared for a pandemic and that it is in close contact with the authorities. The retailer has informed and instructed its employees regarding consistent compliance with basic hygiene measures. The demand for certain products, such as longer-lasting food, has increased in the past week. General bottlenecks are currently not an issue at Coop.

Based on AvS/Blanca Burri

Hotline and hygiene
The canton of Bern operates a hotline where event organisers can obtain information on the general conditions (0800 634 634). All information on the situation in the canton of Berne is compiled on the website

Good personal hygiene measures such as regular hand-washing (with soap and water), coughing (sneezing or coughing into the crook of your arm). If possible, avoid contact with people with respiratory symptoms (cough, cold).




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