connect, grow & thrive.

Covid-19 Update: Friday March 19

In view of the growing number of cases the government has decided to postpone all lifting of restrictions except for the number of people allowed to meet in private.

As of Monday 10 instead of 5 people will be allowed to meet in private.

Apart from that all other measures will remain in place, namely restaurants will remain closed and no new opening for cultural or sport events.

There will be a revisiting of this decision in four weeks time (April 14). It seems as if we are in the beginning of a third wave so cannot, therefore, take any further risks; by waiting until after Easter, the government is hoping to avoid the problems other countries had after Christmas.

The Federal Council proposes a model with three phases. As long as not all persons from risk groups have been vaccinated (first phase), stricter guideline values are necessary. The focus is on a 14-day incidence of 350. Other guideline values relate to the utilization of intensive care units with Covid 19 patients, hospitalizations and the number of reproductions.

When all persons from risk groups have been vaccinated (second phase), less stringent guideline values can be implemented. However, the development of the epidemic must be under control.

If all persons willing to be vaccinated are vaccinated (third phase), according to current estimates, no closures and no guideline values should be necessary.

The federal council is calling on people to test as often as necessary and be patient. Before meeting with friends people should go and have a test in a pharmacy, people can have up to 5 tests for free per month.

The number of cases over the last 7 days is 1378 per day, that is 18% more than the previous week. The positive rate is 5.3% and the R rate is 1.12. 5% of the population has received both vaccines and a further 3.2% one vaccine.

List of countries and regions requiring quarantining (in bold as of March 22):

Austria: Land Burgenland, Land Kärnten, Land Niederösterreich, Land Oberösterreich, Land Salzburg, Land Steiermark, Land Wien

France: Région Centre-Val de Loire, Région Corse, Région Hauts-de-France, Région Île de France, Région Normandie, Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Région Occitanie, Région Pays de la Loire, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Germany: Land Thüringen

Italy: Regione Abruzzo, Regione Basilicata, Regione Campania, Regione Emilia Romagna, Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia, Regione Lazio, Regione Liguria, Regione Marche, Regione Molise, Regione Puglia, Regione Toscana, Regione Umbria, Regione Veneto

Countries and areas: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo (Republic of), Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands (Kingdom of the), North Macedonia, Occupied Palestinian territory, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay

The following do not exempt you from the mandatory quarantine requirement or shorten the quarantine period:

  • A negative test result. This is because a negative test result does not completely rule out an infection with the coronavirus.
  • A COVID-19 vaccination. This is because while the vaccination provides protection from the disease, it is not yet clear whether it also prevents you from infecting other people.

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