Will Switzerland’s compulsory quarantine period be shortened?

Will Switzerland’s compulsory quarantine period be shortened?
Authorities may decide to shorten the quarantine. Photo by AFP
Swiss media reported this week that health authorities are considering whether to shorten the compulsory 10-day quarantine in effect for people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

There are two kinds of quarantine requirements in Switzerland at the moment.

One is for those found through contact tracing to have been in close contact with someone who tested positive to Covid-19.

Tracing is done through an app or by filling out a ‘contact tracing’ card in bars, restaurants, and on airplanes.

The other group required to quarantine are people arriving in Switzerland from one of the countries that are placed on the government’s list of nations with a high number of Covid-19 infections. 

In both cases, the quarantine is mandated for 10 days.

This poses a problem for many companies whose workforce can shrink overnight because a number of employees have been quarantined.

READ MORE: Quarantine in Switzerland is ‘not a reliable system,' say The Local readers

However, the RTS broadcaster reported that discussions are now underway to possibly reduce the number of quarantine days.

“I wonder if 10 days is still what we need to do. Maybe it would be better to shorten this period with a test after a few days and, if it is negative, release the person from the quarantine and ask them to wear a mask for a period of time”, said Pierre-Alain Schnegg, Bern’s State Councilor in charge of health.

According to Rudolf Hauri, President of the Association of Swiss Cantonal Doctors, health authorities “are discussing shortening the duration of the quarantine by wearing the mask instead”.

However, Virginie Masserey, head of FOPH’s infection control, said that while the matter is being reassessed, “it would be risky to reduce the quarantine, which is already shorter in Switzerland than in other countries, where it usually lasts 14 days”.

Currently about 8,500 people are in quarantine in Switzerland due to exposure, and just over 16,000 after arriving from a country at risk.


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