Good news: restaurants may reopen next Monday

Fri, 28. May. 2021

A further lifting of restrictions will take place on Monday, 31 May 2021. The Federal Council is going further than proposed in the consultation, especially with regard to events, private meetings and restaurants.

With this lifting of restrictions, a calculated risk is being taken, health minister Alain Berset emphasised on Wednesday. "This step at the beginning of June is one of the biggest steps we have taken for a long time. We have a lot of respect for the situation. But we are confident," Berset said. The goal, he said, must be "that we never have to close again". 

Hygiene measures, social distancing and wearing masks if the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained still apply.

As of Monday, restaurants will be able to serve guests indoors. The following applies: distancing or screens, a maximum of four people per table, recording of all guests' contact details, and seating only. On the terrace, tables of six are now possible. The curfew between 11 pm and 6 am will be lifted. Masks don’t need to be worn at the table, but anyone moving around the restaurant - indoors and outdoors - must wear a mask. Masks are compulsory for staff.

Private meetings
The Federal Council is increasing the limits for private meetings from 10 to 30 people indoors and from 15 to 50 outdoors.

Public events
For events with an audience, the limit is now 100 instead of 50 persons indoors and 300 instead of 100 persons outdoors.

Events without an audience, such as club events or guided tours, are possible indoors and outdoors with a maximum of 50 people instead of 15 as before. This also applies to private events such as wedding or birthday parties that do not take place in one's own private premises.

Amateur sports
A maximum of 50 instead of 15 people are now allowed to play sports together in the amateur sector. Spectators are permitted; the rules for public events apply. Competitions of team sports are only allowed outdoors. Contact sports such as partner dancing or wrestling are permitted indoors without masks only in consistent groups of four persons.

Wellness and indoor swimming pools
Thermal baths and wellness facilities may reopen. Activities may be performed without a mask but must be done at a distance. The same rules apply to indoor pools.   

Amateur culture
Analogous to the rules in sports, the maximum group size in culture increases to 50 people. Performances by amateur cultural groups are possible again. Outdoor choir concerts are again permitted, both amateur and professional.

No quarantine for vaccinated and convalescent people
Those who have recovered are exempt from contact quarantine and travel quarantine for six months. Because vaccinated people do not transmit the virus to a relevant extent, they are now also exempt from contact quarantine and travel quarantine for six months and the testing obligation and the obligation to provide contact details upon entry to Switzerland. The prerequisite is a complete vaccination with a vaccine approved in Switzerland or by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Persons under 16 years of age are also exempted from the travel quarantine and the obligation to test upon entry.

The exemptions from travel quarantine and mandatory testing do not apply to recovered and vaccinated persons entering from countries with virus variants of concern.

Another lifting of restrictions before summer
The Federal Council is expected to send the next package of opening steps, which is to apply from 1 July, for consultation on 11 June and decide on it on 23 June.

Based on AvS/Anita Moser

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