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Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update: August 26

Current Situation:

It is official, Switzerland is in its fourth wave of the pandemic. The weekly average of new cases is now over 2500 and it looks like the numbers will continue to grow. The hospitalisation rates are up by 40%. Many intensive care units are full with 90% of patients not being vaccinated, and people are dying from complications from the virus again. With only 51% of the population being fully vaccinated, the government is looking into measures to incentivise the remaining population to get vaccinated quickly.


As of October 1st tests without symptoms will need to be paid for by the user, tests with symptoms will be free but no certificate will be delivered.

The government has approached the cantons to look at implementing a mandatory vaccination/test pass to gain access to restaurants, cafes, fitness centres, museums, cinemas, theatres etc… No date for when this would be implemented has been set yet.

A third vaccination? To date the government is not convinced of the necessity of a third vaccination and would rather focus on getting more of the population to get fully vaccinated first.

In schools the cantons get to decided whether masks are to be worn or not, or whether regular testing is sufficient. To date the canton of Lucerne is not requiring students or teachers to wear masks. But Schaffhausen and most cantons in the French part are.

For the time being the following measures continue to apply.


There currently are no countries listed as at risk meaning that no quarantine is required when returning from abroad. Only people who have not been vaccinated or recovered from Covid need to provide a test and only if they fly into the country.

For more details go here.

Looking ahead:

The government has envisioned three possible way forwards according to the severity of number of cases and the saturation of the hospitals as a consequence. In view of the low number of people vaccinated and the fact that hospitals are feeling the strain of patients coming in due to Covid-19 related symptoms, it is likely that there will be a big push for more vaccinations and some measures will be reimplemented in the coming weeks. However a total lockdown seems very unlikely unless a variant comes along that does not respond to the vaccines currently in place…

Sources: BAG & SRF websites

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