Swiss authorities retract report stating two out of three new coronavirus infections come from nightclubs or restaurants

Almost half of Switzerland’s new coronavirus infections came from nightclubs, with another third coming from bars and restaurants. (UPDATE: Swiss authorities have retracted these figures and apologised for the calculation error)

Swiss authorities retract report stating two out of three new coronavirus infections come from nightclubs or restaurants
Not the right type of masks to wear in a club. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Editor's note: The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has since publication retracted these figures, saying it made a mistake in its calculation. Families, not nightclubs, are the biggest source of coronavirus infections. Read the updated news here.

New research from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health shows how coronavirus spreads throughout the community, with nightclubs, bars and restaurants the main infection points. 

The figures, provided to the Swiss public broadcaster, show that 42 percent of new infections in Switzerland over the past two weeks came from nightclubs. 

A further 27 percent came from bars and restaurants – meaning that 69 percent of all new infections over the past fortnight have come in either nightlife venues or gastronomy. 

Just over 12 percent came from a family member, while 8 percent of infections came from medical personnel. 

The news comes amid admissions from Swiss officials that nightclubs were opened too early. 

Swiss authorities: 'We opened bars and nightclubs too early' 

Since nightclubs were allowed to reopen with up to 300 guests in Switzerland on June 8th, there have been a number of outbreaks, forcing hundreds into quarantines. 

Several cantons have wound back the numbers of people allowed in nightclubs, while others have told revellers to wear masks.

All nightclub attendees are still required to keep 1.5 metres distance from each other at all times in Switzerland. 

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What to do if you haven’t yet received your Swiss health insurance card

Switzerland is late in issuing health insurance cards for new policy holders or those who have switched their providers at the end of 2022. What should you do if you need medical help before your new card arrives?

What to do if you haven’t yet received your Swiss health insurance card

When you buy a health insurance policy in Switzerland from any of the dozens of approved providers, you will receive a credit card-sized card to be used as proof of insurance. Aside from your name, date of birth, and AHV / AVS number, the card also includes the name of your insurance company, client number, and the date of validity.

You will have to present this card each time you seek medical treatment that is included under the obligatory KVG / LaMal scheme.

Residents of Switzerland are allowed to change their compulsory health insurance coverage from one provider to another by November 30th, to go into effect from January of the following year.

The sharp increase in the cost of the health insurance in 2023 — 6.6 percent on average, but higher in some cantons — has prompted many people to look for cheaper options and change their carriers.

READ MORE: Millions of Swiss residents switch health insurance amid rising costs

This massive switch has caused a backlog in the production of new insurance cards, which means that many policy holders have not yet received theirs.

The cards for all insurance carriers are issued by a subsidiary of the Santésuisse health insurance association, whose spokesperson, Manuel Ackermann, said that the delay is caused by the “extraordinarily large number” — three times as many as in an average year — of switches.

He did not specify how much longer is needed to issue and send out all the cards.

What should you do if you haven’t yet received your card?

Say you need medical help, or another situation arises where proof of health insurance is needed — for instance, if you are applying for a new job or registering in a new municipality.

In such cases, you can present the insurance certificate letter your carrier has issued when you took up your policy.

While not having an insurance card is a minor inconvenience in Switzerland, where such a certificate can be used in the interim, it could be more of a problem when travelling in the European Union.

Under normal circumstances, if you fall ill in the EU, all you have do is present your Swiss card, which is equivalent to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This way, you can be treated and the bill will go directly to your Swiss insurance company.

However, absence of the card could mean that hospitals in those countries may not recognise the insurance certificate alone, and require Swiss residents to pay for medical care on the spot.

While not an ideal situation, you can submit the bill, along with all the required documents such as details of your treatment, to your insurer in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Reader question: Can my Swiss health insurance refuse to pay my medical bills?