Presenting Switzerland’s new look

Four hands, three masks: a visit to the hairdresser is more complicated than it used to be. Urs Flüeler/Keystone

Off to the hairdresser, the florist or the DIY superstore: Monday was the first day that people in Switzerland slowly began emerging from the coronavirus lockdown. Masks remain an omnipresent reminder of the danger.

This content was published on April 28, 2020
Renat Kuenzi (text) and Thomas Kern (photo editor),

After five weeks of the semi-lockdown measures ordered by the Swiss government, the population can resume a few activities that had been forbidden.

A client in Bern has her eyebrows dyed. Peter Klaunzer/Keystone

You don't need to be a psychic to predict that hair salons will be very busy in the next days, either taming outgrown manes or trying to fix botched attempts to cut and colour at home.

A woman pays for her geraniums in a newly-reopened garden and DIY superstore. Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone

People can also visit cosmetic and nail studios, as well as DIY and garden centres. At the same time, doctors, dentists and physiotherapists can open their doors for non-urgent appointments. Hospitals can carry out the procedures that had to be postponed on account of Covid-19.

But social distancing and hygiene rules for stopping the spread of the virus are still in effect, and groups should still be limited to five people.

Customers have had ample time to think about what to plant on balconies and in gardens. Laurent Gillieron/Keystone

In general, people are not required to wear masks. But stores need to uphold strict hygiene rules while ensuring that there is enough distance between customers. Schools and other shops are expected to open in two weeks.

A couple browsing the aisles of a DIY megastore near Zurich Ennio Leanza/Keystone

If there is not a clear increase in the number of infections, upper secondary and vocational schools, plus universities and other higher education institutions, should be able to re-open on June 8, along with museums, libraries and zoos.

The coronavirus crisis in photos – our continually updated gallery about life in Switzerland during the semi-lockdown:

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