Switzerland Plans to Extend Its Lockdown Measures Until End of February

Restaurants, gyms and cultural venues will likely remain closed.  There is no word on the fate of ski resorts that remain open in some cantons. Talks are ongoing with final decisions made in a week’s time. NEW

“The infections have remained at more or less the same level since the beginning of December,” said the Interior Minister, Alain Berset, who has responsibility for health.

The government has prepared a series of proposals, notably extending the closure of restaurants, bars, culture venues and sports across the country until the end of February.

In a change to the existing situation it is expected cantons with a lower infection rate would no longer be granted an exception to the national measures.

A final decision will be taken on Wednesday 13th January following consultations with the 26 cantons, employers’ organisations and trade unions.

The possible measures include an obligation to work from home, closure of all non-essential shops – defined as “shops that do not sell everyday goods” – school closures, further restrictions on gatherings in public and private, along with other measures to improve the protection of particularly vulnerable people.

It remains to be seen if ski resorts can remain open, but the federal government has said that if non-essential shops close it would be hard to justify ski resorts remaining open.

The mountain railways and ski areas operate in strict compliance with the safety protocols.

Masks are compulsory not only in the closed cable car cabins, but also on open-air lifts (chair lifts, drag lifts) and in all queuing areas.

Only two thirds of maximum capacity is permitted in all closed forms of transport, such as trains, gondolas and cablecars.

This applies to seating and standing room.

Switzerland has 273 confirmed cases of covid-19 per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

By comparison Italy is 189, Austria 161, France 158 and Germany 147.

The UK government is advising people against anything but essential travel to Switzerland.

The entry rules for UK citizens are tight and makes travel near impossible:

Advice on Gov.UK

Advice on Gov.UK

Switzerland Tourism has a useful post detailing currently restrictions in the various cantons.

We have reported on it here:

Switzerland Tourism Offers Overview of Regulations, Canton by Canton

Here at PlanetSKI we will bring the the full news next week and and developments in the negotiations.