Covid-19: Government prepares to greenlight mass events
The Swiss government wants to allow sports and culture events with up to 3,000 spectators from July if the epidemiological situation remains stable.
Interior Minister Alain Berset said the aim was to give organisers and the cantonal authorities the possibility to plan events in line with a demand by parliament.
But the proposal should not be mistaken as a definite step towards a further relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions, Berset told a news conference on Wednesday.
The event organisers need to set strict health and safety rules and have a licence from the cantons, which still have to create separate laws.
Before hosting events with a maximum of 3,000 spectators, the 26 cantons can have trials in June with three events attended by 300-600 people.
Attendance would be limited to people who have been vaccinated against Covid, and those who can prove they've recovered from the illness or test negative.
From September, the government envisages allowing mass events with 10,000 people.
Economics Minister Guy Parmelin added that the government had earmarked a total of CHF150 million ($164 million) for a scheme to provide financial support for organisers if a planned event must be cancelled at short notice due to a deteriorating epidemiological situation, and provided the cantonal authorities also agree to contribute.
The government proposals are yet to be confirmed following consultations among the 26 cantons. The rules would then apply from July to May 2022.
Mass events with more than 1,000 people were already banned from February 2020 to September 2020. The restriction was lifted for a month before the government reintroduced it to contain a surge of Covid-19 at the end of summer.
Last week, the government outlined a detailed plan for a phase-out from the restrictions. The gradual lifting of the curbs is linked to the response to an anti-Covid vaccination programme.
In another development, the Federal Office for Public Health on Wednesday reported the 10,000th death due to Covid in Switzerland.
It said 10,001 people with a confirmed Covid infection – most of them over the age of 80 – had died since February 24 of last year.
Berset described the current epidemiological situation as stable but he called on the population to continue to respect the hygiene and distance rules.
Latest figures show 19 deaths over the past 24 hours and more than 2,100 infections.
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