connect, grow & thrive.

Coronavirus Update – Tuesday December 15

What we know for sure: the numbers of cases are going up again. +9% nationally, +15% in Zürich, +12% in Central Switzerland. Our number of cases per 100 000, is one of the highest on the European continent and an average of 100 people are dying due to complications caused by the virus every day in Switzerland. The hospitals are very concerned as their intensive care beds are filling up (79% currently taken) and even the Spitex service is saying that it is having to get its workers out of quarantine to help out.

What we don’t know for sure: what the government is really planning to do about it. Health minister Alain Berset met with cantonal health director, Lukas Engelberg, yesterday and agreed that more drastic measures need to be implemented but he did not say what they would be.

What is being speculated/leaked: The government is currently looking at a 3 phase system which would be implemented as of December 28 (unless the situation rapidly deteriorates beforehand).

Phase 1 (implemented if R rate lightly over 1 or intensive ward occupied by 80% or more): Restaurants would close with the exception of take-away & delivery services. Recreational and sports centres will close, indoor training will be forbidden. Cultural and entertainment businesses would also remain closed.

Phase 2 (R rate more than 1.1 or intensive ward more than 85%): Even fewer people could be in shops at any one time and shops and market would close on weekends. Home office would be reinstated. People will be asked to stay home and not go on day trips.

Phase 3 (R rate more than 1.2 or intensive ward more than 90%): Stores selling non-essential goods would be closed. All contact between people anywhere would be limited to 10.

There is no talk of closing schools, hairdressers or physiotherapy studios.

Unless the numbers increase drastically before this Friday, these announcements will be made by the federal council on Friday. Speculation is that the measures wouldn’t be implemented before December 28.

A bit of good news, as of today and until end of 2021, companies who have made financial losses due to the pandemic and the restrictions put into place can apply for compensation. 25 million francs have been put aside to help companies in difficulty. In order to be considered the company must have made a revenue of at least CHF 50 000.- in 2018 and 2019 and had a loss of at least 40% of their revenue in 2020. You can find out more here.

Finally did you buy a protection mask in Müller from the brand “viral Protect” in sizes M or L? Then you should not wear it anymore and return it immediately to the store (even if you don’t have the receipt ) as it has been found to contain the poison Anilin. The producer claims that this will kill the virus, but it is a fact that the poison Anilin could, in extreme cases, kill the people too!

(sources SRF, Tages Anzeiger, Luzerner Zeitung, Zentralplus,

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