Covid-19 Update – February 17

Today members of the federal council held a press conference to announce the measures they wish to implement with the approval of the cantons (to be given – or not – this week).

As of March 1st the following measures would be put into place:

  • All shops reopen with a reduced number of clients.
  • Up to 15 people allowed to meet outdoors.
  • Museums and reading rooms of archives and libraries should be able to reopen. Outdoor recreational and entertainment facilities shall be reopened, namely zoos, botanical gardens and adventure parks. In all places, masks will be compulsory, distance must be kept and capacity limits applied.
  • Sports facilities such as ice rinks, tennis courts and football pitches should be allowed to reopen. In addition to capacity restrictions, masks must be worn or people must keep their distance; only groups of a maximum of five people are allowed; competitions and events are not permitted in adult recreational sports.
  • For children and young people up to 16 years of age, certain exemptions already apply in the area of sport and culture. The Federal Council now wants to raise the age limit to 18 and expand the permitted sports and cultural activities, these will include competitive sports and band or choir rehearsals.

Further lifting of restrictions will be implemented at the beginning of each month provided the following conditions are met:

  • The positivity rate should be below 5%,
  • The number of beds in intensive care units with Covid 19 patients should be below 25%
  • The average reproductive number over the last 7 days should be below 1.
  • In addition, the 14-day incidence on March 24th should not be higher than that of March 1st.

If the above conditions are fulfilled, restaurants could hope to reopen their terraces as of April 1st as could fitness centres and some cultural and sport events could resume.

The following rules would be extended:

  • Restaurants will remain closed.
  • The rule of five people meeting indoors for private events remains in place.
  • Home office continues to be mandatory.
  • Cultural events with an audience remain forbidden.

All the above is dependent on the cantons agreeing and will be confirmed at a press conference on February 24th.

Schools are expected to reopen as normal after the school holidays. The canton of Zug will be introducing mass testing in the schools and the canton of Lucerne is imposing the wearing of masks for children from the 5th class and up.

More money is being made available for businesses who will be further affected by the continued restrictions.

Currently the daily average of cases in Switzerland is 1028. The positive rate of tests is at 4.8%, the number of deaths per day is currently at 16, 1020 people are being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals, and the R rate is currently at 0.88 nationally.

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