connect, grow & thrive.

Coronavirus update – March 19th.

Message from the government:

Stay at home, especially if you are sick or 65 years old or older. Unless you have to go to work and cannot work from home; unless you need to go to the doctor or pharmacy, or you need to buy food or help someone.

The Federal Council and Switzerland are counting on you!

As of today there are over 3000 registered cases of coronavirus in Switzerland and 21 deaths. The department of health admits to knowing that the number of infected is much higher but because only serious cases are being tested it is impossible to know the real number.

The government is asking that people really respect the rules so that we do not have to be put under quarantine. It is okay to go out for walks with your family and pets, but all larger gatherings and team sports are banned.

As of today fewer trains will be running nationwide. There will be no extra trains during rush hours, no night trains and any international train will only go to the Swiss border. Trains that ran every 15 minutes will only run every 30 minutes, and trains that ran every 30 minutes will now only run every hour. So be sure to check the SBB website to find out which train you should take.

As of Monday bus lines will also be running at a reduced frequency.

The government has put in place a limit on how much cough syrup, and medicine people can buy to prevent hoard buying. There is however plenty of medicine in the country so people really shouldn’t panic according to the government.

Prodega, the supermarket for restaurants, is opening its doors from 11 a.m. onwards for regular clients who would like to buy food there, this is your chance to bulk buy and get meat at a very good price. It remains exclusively open for restaurateurs from opening until 11 a.m.

The churches have asked that people light a candle every Thursday night at 8 p.m. starting tonight to show solidarity for those who are ill, the medical staff and those who are helping to keep our society going.

The other act of solidarity which is being shared all over the world is spontaneous clapping from your windows or balconies every night at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. (depending on where you live) to show your support for those who are working in the medical field.

If you would like to volunteer then please sign up to our new Online Support Service Platform, so people who need help can reach out to you.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.