connect, grow & thrive.

Covid-19 Update – December 17. 2021

The government has decided after consultation with the cantons on the following national rules which will apply from Monday December 20th and last until January 24th 2022.

2G with mandatory masking and seating: As of Monday only vaccinated and recovered people will be allowed to enter interiors of restaurants, cultural, sports and recreational venues, as well as indoor events, with a seating rule and obligation to wear a mask. This is known as the 2G rule.

2G+ for discos and activities without mask: Where neither mask wearing nor mandatory sitting is possible, only vaccinated and recovered persons who can also show a negative test result are allowed. This rule applies to discos and bars, on the one hand, and to sports and cultural activities of non-professionals, on the other hand, when no mask is worn, such as at brass band rehearsals. It does not apply to young people under 16 years of age. Persons whose complete vaccination, booster vaccination or recovery was not more than four months ago are exempt from the testing obligation. Establishments and events subject to the 2G rule may voluntarily apply 2G+, waiving the mask and seat requirement.

Restrictions on private meetings such as Christmas parties: as soon as a person 16 years or older is present who has not been vaccinated or recovered, only ten people are allowed to meet. Children are counted. If everyone 16 and older is vaccinated or recovered, an upper limit of 30 people applies indoors. Outside, the limit is still 50 people.

Outdoor events: For outdoor events with more than 300 people, the 3G rule continues to apply.

Home office obligation: The Federal Council is reintroducing the home office obligation in order to reduce contacts. If working on site is necessary, a mask obligation continues to apply in the premises where more than one person is present.

Compulsory masks at secondary level II: Compulsory masking is prescribed at grammar schools and other secondary schools. The Federal Council strongly recommends that the cantons introduce mandatory masks at lower levels as well. Many cantons have already done so. The Federal Council also recommends that the cantons carry out repetitive testing at schools to avoid chains of infection. For the tertiary level as well as for certain educational offers and examinations, a 3G obligation now applies.

One test on entry into Switzerland: From Monday, December 20, vaccinated and recovered persons only need one negative test to enter Switzerland (PCR test not older than 72 hours or rapid antigen tests not older than 24 hours). Those who have not been vaccinated or recovered must still present two negative tests; a first at entry and a second 4 to 7 days after entry.

Tests for certificate will be free again: Paid will be rapid antigen tests and saliva PCR pool tests. Self-tests as well as single PCR tests and antibody tests will not be paid. The costs of individual PCR tests in persons with symptoms of the disease, in contact persons and after positive pool samples will continue to be covered. The new system will apply from tomorrow, Saturday.

It is now possible for people who received their second vaccination four months ago to apply for a booster.

For more information you can go to the government’s website.

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