Masks are compulsory even in busy pedestrian areas

Fri, 30. Oct. 2020
No need for a mask on the empty Promenade (Photograph: Noah Bill)

The Confederation has tightened corona measures. Masks are now mandatory even in busy pedestrian areas. The number of people in private circles is limited to ten for events. The Canton of Bern is adhering to its – in some cases stricter – measures.  

The Federal Council has taken further measures throughout Switzerland to combat the rapid spread of the corona virus. Discos and dance halls are closed, bars and restaurants have to close at 11pm. In restaurants and bars, a maximum of four people may sit at a table, except for families with children. There is a closing hour from 23.00 to 6.00.

All events with more than 50 people and sporting as well as cultural leisure activities with more than 15 people are prohibited.

The measures have been in force since yesterday, Thursday and are not limited in time. As of Monday, 2 November, universities will have to do all teaching without attendance.

Political demonstrations and the collection of signatures for referendums and initiatives will continue to be possible.

Mandatory use of masks
A mask must now also be worn in the outdoor areas of institutions and businesses throughout Switzerland, for example in front of shops, event locations, restaurants and bars or at weekly and Christmas markets. A mask is also compulsory in "busy pedestrian areas and wherever the required distance cannot be maintained", as the media release states. This means that masks are also compulsory in the Gstaad or Saanen Promenade – if the rules on distance cannot be observed. So, the situation differs whether the Promenade is busy on a sunny afternoon or deserted in the evening.

Private settings
Because many infections occur in a private setting, the Federal Council has limited the number of people attending events with family and friends to 10.

Canton of Bern goes further in some cases
The canton of Berne tightened up measures last Saturday. "The provisions for the Canton of Berne remain valid as long as they go beyond the minimum standards set by the Federal Council," the cantonal government states in a press release. The Canton of Berne has closed indoor swimming pools as well as sports and fitness centres, while the Federal Council allows indoor sports and cultural activities for up to 15 people – provided sufficient distance can be maintained and masks are worn.

Based on the development of the pandemic, cantonal government will decide in the middle of the month whether certain measures can be relaxed after 23 November 2020. "This is with the aim of creating the best possible conditions for the Christmas month and for the start of the winter season".

The stricter rule applies
Of the measures defined in the two ordinances on a particular subject, always the stricter regulation applies – whether it is the ordinance of the federal government or that of the canton.

Based on AvS/Anita Moser


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