connect, grow & thrive.

Covid-19 Update – Wednesday October 28

Today 8616 new cases were reported, making the 7 day average at 5994, this is 88% more than the previous week. The positive rate of infection is at 23.4% of tests. There were 34 covid-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours. 1990 people are currently in hospital being treated for complications

The government delivered their new measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus and they will be effective for the whole country as of tonight midnight.

  • Discos and clubs must close.
  • Bars and restaurants will close at 11 pm. In restaurants and bars a maximum of four people may sit at a table, except for families with children.
  • All events with more than 50 persons as well as sports and cultural leisure activities with more than 15 persons are prohibited.
  • Only professional choirs are allowed to meet.
  • Private events are limited to 10 people (including children).
  • If 15 people or less meet indoors they have to wear masks unless there is enough room for social distancing.
  • In addition, the obligation to wear masks will be extended to:
  • In outdoor areas of institutions and businesses, such as stores, event locations, restaurants and bars or weekly and Christmas markets.
  • Masks are also compulsory in busy pedestrian areas and wherever the required distance cannot be maintained in public spaces.
  • Masks are now also compulsory in schools from secondary level II onwards.
  • Likewise a mask obligation applies in the workplace, unless the distance between workstations can be maintained, for example in individual offices.
  • Children up to 12 years of age, persons who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons and guests in restaurants and bars when sitting at a table are exempt from the mask requirement.
  • From Monday, November 2, universities must also waive attendance in classes, meaning back to online learning but schools stay open.
  • To detect Covid-19 infection, rapid antigen tests can be used in addition to the tests already in use (PCR tests) from November 2, 2020. This will allow a broader and faster testing of the population.
  • The Federal Council also adjusted the threshold for the inclusion of states and territories on the quarantine list and the exemption from quarantine for business travelers. The amendment will come into force on 29.10.2020. With the amendment to the ordinance, only countries and territories whose incidence is more than 60 higher than the incidence in Switzerland will be included on the quarantine list. Currently the level is 762 cases per 100 000 in Switzerland, meaning only countries with levels of 822 cases per 100 000 will be on the quarantine list. Currently those are Belgium, Chechnya, Andorra and Armenia

The government is trying to avoid a new lockdown but will be keeping an eye on the situation and may resort to even harsher measures in the coming weeks if necessary. There is no foreseable date for the end of these measures. Cantons are still able to add more restrictions should they feel the need to.

We are updating this post as the press conference continues.

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