After the epidemiological situation in Switzerland had further deteriorated, the federal council has taken the lead again, which had previously been in the hands of the individual cantons.
After the epidemiological situation in Switzerland had further deteriorated, the federal council has taken the lead again, which had previously been in the hands of the individual cantons. The Federal Council has reacted with more stringent measures, which are to remain in force until 22 January.
The Federal Council published the new measures on 11 December. The aim is a massive reduction in personal contacts to decrease the number of corona infections and thus ease the situation in the health care system. Hospitals in Switzerland are under great pressure and are approaching their capacity limits. Recently, people in charge at Swiss university hospitals sent a warning to the minister of health, Alain Berset.
Current measures mainly affect the retail sector, the gastronomy and the cultural scene. For example, shops and restaurants must close as early as 7pm. On Sundays and public holidays, shops, museums as well as sports and entertainment facilities must remain closed. Cultural events are only allowed for up to five people and public events are prohibited with a few exceptions. Skiing is currently still possible.
The situation is being monitored very closely by decision-makers in the fields of medicine, politics and business and further measures cannot be ruled out. The RFO, a regional body at the municipal level for dealing with disasters and emergencies, emphasises that further restrictions are very much dependent on the behaviour of the population and guests in the Saanenland: "The better we all adhere to the protective measures, the more likely it is that no further restrictions will be imposed."
The RFO calls on the population to adhere to the measures adopted by the confederation and to strictly follow the regional instructions, as communicated on the part of tourism and the municipality. This includes, for example, wearing masks in crowded public spaces (e.g. Gstaad Promenade, Saanen village centre) and refraining from private events involving more than ten people.
Last but not least, whether or not ski operations can continue also hinges on the behavior of each individual, as the RFO writes in their press release: "Skiing operations in the Gstaad-Saanenland region require a permit from the canton. This permit is also dependent on whether protective measures are followed in the ski area, on the winter hiking trails and in the villages." The municipal council of Saanen is therefore sending out an appeal to the public, for everybody to assume their personal responsibility for the benefit all.