connect, grow & thrive.

Coronavirus Update – April 8.

We probably had all figured this out but it is now official that the country’s lockdown is being extended until April 26.

The government is hoping that by the end of April some parts of the lockdown will be lifted but only if people continue to follow the rules especially over the Easter weekend.

This means to stay home, do not travel even within the country, keep social distancing, wash your hands and only go out for essential reasons. Only this way can the slowing down of infections continue. There will be controls on the northern entrance of the Gotthard tunnel to check why people are travelling to the Tessin.

The government will decide next Thursday 16th whether it is possible to relax the rules towards the end of the month or not; but the hope is that the restrictions will be lifted within weeks, not months.

However it does not look like schools will be the first things that will be reopened.

It is also unclear how things will look under a “light” lockdown, the government is looking at how other countries are doing it and whether these methods should be implemented (specifically whether people would have to wear protective masks).

On the negative side unemployment is on the rise and it looks as if for the first time in a long time, Switzerland may be heading for a recession and the the number of unemployed could potentially reach close to 7%. The government is still working on the economy packages to help small businesses.

Unfortunately the government is not prepared to step in with regards to rents and says that it is up to landlords and renters to work a solution out.

They are also finding how to help self-employed businesses who are not officially included in the first help package to be quite complicated especially to prevent people from “cheating” the system. However they hope to soon find a solution.

We wish you all a healthy and safe Easter break and will keep you informed should anything new be decided.

(If you find this information useful, we would be really grateful if you could help us stay open by donating to the LiLi Centre – even CHF 10.- can make a difference!)

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