The Federal Council again allows indoor meetings with family and friends for up to ten people. The risk of an uncontrolled increase in the number of cases is too big for further openings, they argue.
Given the Easter break, meetings with family and friends are possible again with a maximum of ten people. Children must be counted as well. However, great caution is still advised and it is recommended to limit the meetings to few households. "The possibility for free testing should be used before private meetings," said federal councillor Alain Berset. The health minister urged patience several times. The Federal Council will decide on the next steps on 14 April.
No additional easing of measures
The Federal Council has decided not to take any of the other steps that many had hoped and called for. According to the Federal Council, the epidemiological situation has been deteriorating visibly since the end of February. The number of infections is expected to double every three to four weeks. Neighbouring countries also show rising numbers, even if stricter measures are in place compared to Switzerland.
While the epidemiological situation is getting worse, vaccination of those at risk has not progressed far enough. Patrick Mathys, deputy head of the Communicable Diseases Division at the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, identifies three main reasons for the worsening situation: the dominance of the new variants with increased transmissibility; the increase in the number of contacts due to the easing of the corona measures; the pandemic fatigue and the concomitant slackening in compliance with the safety rules. The new vaccination and testing strategy should help counteract but the situation remains critical and must be closely monitored.
"Important step for families"
The cantonal government of Bern welcomes the Federal Council's decision to increase the maximum number of people to meet indoors from five to ten: "Given the Easter break and the cool weather, this is an important sign for the Swiss population." They understand the reluctance to allow easing steps in other areas, even if they would have welcomed them. The cantonal government is aware that the industries most affected by the corona restrictions are eagerly awaiting the easing of measures.
Based on AvS/Anita Moser