Back to Lockdown

Fri, 29. Jan. 2021

Restaurants, cultural establishments, sports facilities and recreational facilities will remain closed until the end of February. Since 18 January, shops for non-daily necessities have also been closed and gatherings are restricted to five people.

Restaurants, cultural establishments, sports facilities and recreational facilities will remain closed until the end of February. Since 18 January, shops for non-daily necessities have also been closed and gatherings are restricted to five people.

The Federal Council deemed it necessary to tighten the screw. The extension of the existing measures until the end of February had been expected. However, the stricter measures came as a surprise. The Federal Council justifies the tightening of the measures with the stagnation of the number of infections at a very high level and the highly infectious new variants of the virus. The epidemiological situation remains tense: The number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths as well as the burden on health personnel remain very high.

Highly infectious variants
At the time of the official adjustments in mid-January, Switzerland was confronted with two new, highly contagious virus variants. These increased the risk of a further rise in the number of cases, which would be difficult to control. In several countries where the new variants were circulating widely case numbers had jumped. “The Federal Council has no indications that the development in Switzerland will be any different from that in these countries. According to initial estimates, the transferability of the new variants is 50 to 70 per cent higher.”

The Federal Council considered these developments to be highly worrying, even though there were no indications so far that the new variants are more dangerous and cause more severe courses of the disease. The additional measures should help to greatly reduce contacts with more extensive measures and thus slow down the spread of the new virus variants.

Closures extended by five weeks
The Federal Council has extended the measures decided in December by five weeks. Restaurants as well as cultural, sports and leisure facilities will remain closed until the end of February.

Closure of shops not selling daily necessities
Since Monday, 18 January, the national measures have also been tightened. Shops and markets have been closed since then. Shops and markets offering goods for daily use are exempt. It is still possible to pick up ordered goods on site. The regulation that shops, petrol station shops and kiosks must remain closed after 7pm and on Sundays, on the other hand, was lifted again.

Restrictions on private events and gatherings
A maximum of five people are allowed to attend private events. Children are also counted towards this number. It is further recommended that private gatherings should not consist of people from more than two households. Gatherings in public spaces have also been limited to five people.

BASED ON AVS/ANITA MOSER

 

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