connect, grow & thrive.

Coronavirus/Covid-19 Update – April 14

Today the government made the following announcement with regards to the restrictions being lifted from Monday April 19:

Restaurants and bars may open terraces: Seating is mandatory and masks may be removed only during consumption. A maximum of four people are allowed per table. Contact information must be collected from all persons. Discotheques and dance halls remain closed.

Publicly accessible facilities and businesses can open indoor areas: This also makes zoos and botanical gardens fully accessible again. Indoors, a mask must always be worn and the required distance maintained. The indoor area of wellness facilities and leisure pools, on the other hand, remains closed.

Events with audience – outside 100, inside 50: Events are again possible outside with 100, inside with 50 people. This means football matches or open-air concerts or cinemas, theaters or concerts. Seating is compulsory and masks must be worn at all times. There must be a distance of 1.5 meters between visitors or a seat must be left free. Guided tours in museums and meetings of association members are allowed up to 15 persons.

Sports and cultural activities for adults up to 15 people allowed: This means that amateur competitions are also allowed again. Outdoors, either a mask must be worn or the required distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained. Indoors, both the mask must be worn and the distance must be maintained. However, there are exceptions for activities where wearing a mask is not possible (e.g. endurance training in fitness centers or singing in a choir). Sports with body contact are still not allowed indoors, outdoors only if a mask is worn.

Face-to-face teaching at universities and in further education courses is possible to a limited extent: there is a restriction to a maximum of 50 people and a capacity restriction to one third of the room, as well as masking and spacing requirements.

No quarantine for companies offering testing: Contact quarantine is waived for employees of companies that offer testing to the on-site workforce at least once per week while on the job.

Home office remains in place, as well as no more than 10 people meeting in private, restaurants and bars, disco and dance halls remain closed indoors.

This may seem really strange considering that the number of cases are up by 44% compared to last week and only one of the 5 criteria are met. Health Minister Alain Berset, said that this is because most of the vulnerable population has now been vaccinated and the good weather means that people will be staying outdoors and can maintain social distancing. He did however stress that people have to continue to maintain social distancing and follow guidelines and, of course, test.

New country quarantine list valid as of April 19:

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

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

Germany: Land Sachsen, Thüringen

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

Countries and areas*Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Jordan, Kosovo (Republic of), Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands (Kingdom of the), North Macedonia, Palestinian territory (Occupied), Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay.

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