connect, grow & thrive.

Znüni News – Monday January 11 – Coronavirus Update

The situation remains difficult with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic. The current R rate (reproduction rate) is over 1 (1.02 on December 31) in Switzerland – meaning that the number of cases will be growing exponentially. However, currently the weekly number of cases is stagnating at around 3220; the intensive care units are now at 90% capacity, but the death rate is dropping to around 52 cases per day.

The government has decided to put an end to cantonal exceptions with regards to restaurants being open and ordered all restaurants be closed nationwide as of January 9th, except for cantines and take-aways.

On January 13th, the government will announce whether the current measures will be extended until end of February and whether new measures need to be put into place such as the closing of all non-essential shops and making home office mandatory. It would be up to each canton whether schools should close or not, but this remains the absolute last measure which will be put into place according to the government.

For now ski resorts are allowed to remain open.

The union gastrosuisse has warned that if restaurants have to remain closed much longer, half of all businesses will go bankrupt and have to close permanently by end of March. Several demonstrations took place on the weekend in central Switzerland calling for an ease on regulations or at the very least more financial support from the government.

The national trade association is against any further prolongation or tightening of current measures arguing that what is in place is good enough.

However epidimiologists are warning that if we cannot get the current R rate to under 0.7% we face an explosion of cases once that the new virus mutation takes hold of the country (foreseen to be by end of February).

So what about the vaccinations? The government has assured the population that by early summer anyone who wished to be vaccinated will be and that by end of March all “at risk” groups will be vaccinated. They have ordered 15,6 million doses of vaccine.

So it’s a case of life “abnormal” as usual for now, and hoping that the economic downfall will not be too catastrophic for small business owners. You can do your bit by shopping at local businesses, and local restaurants (by ordering take-away).

We will share wednesday’s government’s announcement with you when it is made official.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

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

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