Masks compulsory in shops and public buildings

Fri, 09. Oct. 2020
The canton of Bern tightens measures to contain the coronavirus. Masks must be worn in all publicly accessible indoor areas. (Photograph: Adobe Stock)

From Monday, 12 October 2020, masks must be worn in publicly accessible indoor areas in the canton of Bern. In bars, clubs and restaurants guests will be required to take a seat and the number of visitors to bars and clubs will be limited to 300.

In the canton of Bern, an average of 285 people per week or around 41 per day have been newly infected in the last two weeks. Due to the epidemiological development, the canton of Bern is stepping up measures to protect the population from the corona virus.

Until January 2021
From Monday, 12 October 2020, the wearing of masks will be compulsory in indoor areas open to the public. At its meeting on Wednesday, 7 October, the cantonal government enacted a corresponding ordinance. The obligation to wear masks in indoor public areas will initially remain in force until 31 January 2021, as the cantonal government states in a press release.

The obligation to wear a mask applies in all indoor rooms open to the public. This includes shops and shopping centres, post offices, museums, theatres, libraries, administrative buildings, places of worship and religious community rooms, cinemas and railway stations, including platforms and subways. In bars, clubs, discotheques and dance halls, as well as in restaurants, guests may only take off their masks when seated at a table.

Children are exempt from wearing masks until their twelfth birthday. "This also applies to persons who can prove that they cannot wear face masks for special reasons, especially medical ones," it continues.

There is no obligation to wear a mask in day-care centres. Masks should be worn in accordance with the protection concepts drawn up, i.e. in special situations or due to individual local conditions.

The interiors of public and private schools subject to the supervision of the Directorate of Education and Culture and the interiors of universities are also exempt from the new rule.

Masks are neither compulsory in the training areas of sports and fitness facilities. "However, in those areas where no sporting activities are practised, such as the reception, changing rooms and catering areas, there is an obligation to wear a mask.”

Obligation to sit in bars, clubs and restaurants
As a further measure to contain the coronavirus, the cantonal government has decided that guests of bars, clubs and restaurants must be seated. It also limits the number of guests simultaneously present in bars, clubs, discotheques and dance halls to 300 people.

The cantonal government also warns that the rules introduced earlier in connection with Covid-19 continue to apply.

Caution also at private events
On Wednesday, for the first time since April, more than 1000 people were reported to be infected with the coronavirus in one day in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In the Saanenland, the numbers are still low. Last Tuesday, seven corona-infected people were reported in Saanen within one day. 

At a media conference in Zug this week, federal councillor Alain Berset warned of the rising corona figures. He urged caution, especially at private events.

Based on AvS/Anita Moser



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