Businesses concerned about Covid-related staff shortages

An infected person has to spend seven days in quarantine but the Swiss business community claims there is evidence from the US that five days is sufficient. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

The Swiss Business Federation has called for an easing of quarantine rules to prevent a shortage of staff in companies due to a surge in Covid infections.

This content was published on January 5, 2022 - 17:23

Roger Wehrli of economiesuisse told public radio SRF on Wednesday that the quarantine and isolation periods for infected people or close contacts should be cut to five days.

He said many companies were struggling to plan ahead because of employees calling in sick, which could disrupt production.

A shorter quarantine period “could help to keep the right balance between economic and social life and the burden on intensive care units”, Wehrli told the Blick newspaper.

The government recently shortened quarantine for asymptomatic Covid patients from ten to seven days. Isolation is currently set at ten days.

The Federal Office of Public Health on Wednesday reported a record 31,109 new confirmed Covid cases within the last 24 hours, a 66% increase of the seven-day average.

Hospital admissions rose by 5% while the number of patients in intensive care dropped slightly.

Health experts have warned that the number of hospitalisations will rise after the festive season in the New Year.

They also said that a shortage of personnel in hospitals due to sickness could cause problems.

Restaurant closures

A number of hotels and restaurants in mountain resorts in southeastern Switzerland have had to close as a result of staff shortages.

“Omicron is everywhere,” said the president of the Graubünden restaurant sector to the Keystone-SDA news agency. He downplays the impact of temporary closures. His counterpart from the hotel sector is meanwhile calling for mandatory Covid vaccinations.

Other sectors, notably schools as well as the Swiss Federal Railways said they were bracing for possible staff shortages, calling up retired personnel or students or asking members of management to stand in.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?