As mentioned in this recent post, the federal government gave Swiss cantonal authorities and other parties a week in which to provide feedback about their proposal to extend the current measures until the end of March 2022. These followed the imposition of tightened restrictions in December 2021.
Following a meeting on 19 January, the proposals have been confirmed by the Federal Council. Particular note was made regarding the pressure on hospitals playing an important part in the decisions.
The requirement to work from home will stay in place until the end of February, as will the rules on contact quarantine. The ‘2G’ and ‘2G plus’ rule for certain indoor settings, the extended mask requirement in indoor settings, the ‘3G’ rule for outdoor events with over 300 people, and restrictions on private gatherings will apply until the end of March.
As mentioned in the previous post, the validity period for COVID-19 certificates will be shortened to 270 days, in line with the European Union.
Also mentioned previously, and reiterated, are the changes to quarantine requirements for contacts of COVID-19 positive cases, effective until the end of February 2022. The Federal Council shortened the quarantine period, and it now applies only to persons who live in the same household as someone who has tested positive, or who has had close contact in other ways.
The rules on tests for entering Switzerland have also been amended – from 22 January those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 will no longer be required to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test before entering Switzerland. Persons who are not vaccinated or who have not recovered from COVID-19 will still have to take the tests to enter.
The strain on PCR testing capacity also means both changes for travellers entering Switzerland and a recommendation by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to cantons that they prioritise their use.
Travellers will no longer be required to take follow-up tests four to seven days after arriving, which means that the ‘3G’ rule applies to enter Switzerland. The Passenger Locator Form (PLF) will only have to be completed by those travelling to Switzerland by plane or on a long-distance bus service.
Following consultation, the Federal Council has also decided on adjustments, valid from 25 January, regarding the requirement to record contact details in certain locations and types of indoor events with unrestricted access for up to 50 people.
Further, because of the strain on resources, the ability to carry out cantonal level contract tracing is no longer a prerequisite for the approval of large scale events. There are further amendments regarding cantonal exemptions from the requirement to restrict access to large-scale outdoor events.
The Federal Council continually will meet again on 2 February to reassess the current pandemic measures.
To read the full press release with further details, go to this link.
As of 20 January, for the previous 24 hours there were 39,807 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Switzerland, with 13 deaths. There were 108,896 tests, with a positivity rate of 36.6%.
[Graphic credit: Federal Council of Switzerland]