Swiss Health Minister: ‘No relaxation of coronavirus measures in February’

Swiss Health Minister: 'No relaxation of coronavirus measures in February'
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said on Wednesday that the existing coronavirus measures would not be relaxed until at least next month.

In a press conference discussing the coronavirus pandemic, Berset told the media there would be “no lockdown easing in February”. 

Berset said the current situation was still problematic, evidenced by a rise in the coronavirus reproduction rate.

Switzerland’s R-Rate climbed above 1 for the first time in two months on Wednesday. The R-Rate is a crucial metric which illustrates how the virus is spreading through the community. 

EXPLAINED: What are the details of Switzerland's coronavirus restrictions? 

Berset did however say that despite the increase, the government had not planned any further measures to be implemented in the coming weeks. 

“We don't want to get into a situation where we no longer have an alternative. We still have these alternatives (of tougher measures) today,” he said. 

“We have gotten used to different things. Wearing masks (for instance) is no longer a problem for the population. This time we will relax the measures differently than last time.”

“We don't know how it will develop. We only know that the situation is more difficult than it was in December, when we decided on the measures. 

“At that time we had no knowledge of the mutations. If the mutation case numbers continue to double every week, then we have to see what we do.”

In particular, Berset said Switzerland would not follow the lead of some of its neighbours and close schools. 

“We don’t see (school closures) as a likely solution. It’s up to the cantons to close the schools – and they are doing it well.”



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