Sharp Spike in Covid-19 Cases in Switzerland

It is currently seeing one of the highest numbers of cases per head of population of any nation in the Alps. The Jura mountain area has introduced a raft of new restrictions. UPDATED

The Swiss President, Simonetta Sommaruga, says new cases are increasing “exponentially”.

“We were all hoping we could go into winter without this new increase in the number of cases,” she said.

She warned that if cases continue to rise then the authorities will “consider more drastic measures”.

The Jura mountains are one of the worst areas in Europe and home to a handful of small ski areas.

The cantons of Jura, Fribourg and Neuchatel have implemented new restrictions.

Neuchatel raised its alert level to ‘red’ on Friday meaning cases are spreading at an alarming rate.

In the Jura ski camps, sports camps and study trips have been suspended.

Amateur team and contact sports are banned.

Only groups of up to 15 people may meet.

All restaurants, cafe and bars must closes at 10pm.

Only four people are allowed per table, unless it is a group from the same household.

The country as a whole is seeing 235 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

France is higher with 259.

The other main alpine nations are lower – Italy 114 and Austria 113.

Some 91,000 people have tested positive for the virus and more than 1,800 have died in Switzerland.

The country has a population of 8.5 million.

On Friday it recorded a new daily record of 6,634 cases.

The current graphs do not look good.

Last weekend new national measures were introduced in Switzerland.

These include making masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces, including train stations, airports, shops, museums, restaurants, and churches.

Private events should be avoided “as far as possible” and any that exceeds 15 people is subject to certain measures, including collecting contact information of guests.

Spontaneous public gatherings of more than 15 people are banned.

Skiing in Switzerland

Skiing in Switzerland. Photo credit – PlanetSKI

Measures in Switzerland vary from region to region as the 26 cantons have autonomy on health matters.

In the Valais canton, home to many of the main ski areas such as Verbier, Zermatt, Crans-Montana and Saas-Fee, the restrictions go much further.

  • Groups of over 10 are prohibited.
  • Night bars, nightclubs, discos and erotic clubs are completely closed.
  • Restaurants must close by 10 p.m. at the latest.
  • Places of entertainment and recreation, such as cinemas, theatres, museums, fitness centres, swimming pools, etc. are closed.
  • In the restaurants there can be no more than four people per table, unless they are members of the same family.
  • There will be no more mass for more than 10 people, nor funerals.
  • Distance education is once again becoming the norm for tertiary level schools.
  • Contact sports, such as football, hockey and basketball, are prohibited.

Ski resorts and people in the Swiss ski industry hope the new measures will bring the coronavirus cases down ahead of the winter.

Tough measures now, with the results being seen as the ski season gets underway shortly.

A handful  of glacier resorts are already open in the country – Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Glacier 3000 and Diavolezza near St Moritz.

There are still travel restrictions for people from the UK going into Switzerland and 14-day quarantine is required on return.

See this PlanetSKI article for the full details:

Coronavirus restriction for people going in and out of ski countries from the UK

And here:

Where is the UK with travel resting and quarantine?

Swiss borders with its neighbouring countries of France, Germany, Italy and Austria re-opened last June.

Germany has now added Switzerland to its “high risk” list with quarantine requirements being introduced from Saturday 24th October.

“I’ve spoken to my counterparts in neighbouring countries and we will do everything to avoid closing the borders again,” said President Sommaruga.