Swiss anti-Covid curbs to remain at least until end of February

The work-from-home rule will remain in place until the end of next month, the Swiss government decided. Keystone/Peter Schneider

The Swiss government has decided to extend until the end of next month existing anti-Covid restrictions and it plans to keep other curbs on public life until March.

This content was published on January 19, 2022 minutes

The mandatory work-from-home rule as well as the coronavirus quarantine, imposed in mid-December, will be retained taking into account the uncertain situation in Switzerland.

Other measures, notably limiting access to indoor public spaces such as restaurants, culture and sports venues and the wearing of masks will tentatively rest in place until the end of March.

“The current measures have proven efficient and the situation in hospitals seem under control,” said Interior Minister Alain Berset at a news conference on Wednesday.

However, Berset warned that the pandemic remained unpredictable.

“We have to go the whole way, there aren’t any shortcuts,“ he said. “We don’t know how the latest wave will develop.”

Switzerland on Wednesday recorded 38,015 confirmed new cases within 24 hours – the highest figures in nearly two years. But the number of patients in intensive care units is dropping.

The government initially proposed extending all the restrictions until the end of March but adapted its plans following resistance from the cantonal authorities and other organisations.

Beginning of February

Berset said the government would review the situation at the beginning of February and decide whether the tough measures – including limiting the size of public and private gatherings are still warranted.

“The aim of the Swiss government’s policy has always been to lift curbs as soon as possible,” he said.

It has always been a question of finding the right balance between preventing the collapse of the health system and keeping in mind economic interests, he added.

The government on Wednesday confirmed that it will shorten the validity of the Covid health certificate from 365 to 270 days in line with the European Union.


In addition, it has decided to ease the Covid testing regime for vaccinated people and those who’ve recovered from coronavirus wishing to enter Switzerland.

Due a shortage of capacities at medical labs and a high number of tests the Swiss authorities also set new rules, prioritising infected people and those with a health risk. Tests for travel purposes will be put back.

Last week, health experts have expressed concern that the wave fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant could swamp the health system.

About 68% of the Swiss population has got two vaccinations and 35% has had a booster jab, according to the Federal Office of Public Health.

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