EXPLAINED: What Covid measures will Switzerland relax from Monday?

EXPLAINED: What Covid measures will Switzerland relax from Monday?
Switzerland is set to relax a range of coronavirus measures from Monday, May 31st, including quarantine rules, along with those related to restaurants and gatherings. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland is set to relax a range of coronavirus measures from Monday, May 31st. Here is what you need to know.

Switzerland will re-open indoor restaurants and people will no longer be required to work from home, the government announced on May 26th, saying it was lifting Covid restrictions faster than previously planned.

Switzerland said its fourth wave of easing coronavirus measures would take place on Monday, with the wealthy Alpine nation moving to a stabilisation phase in managing the pandemic, as it eyes completing the vaccination of high-risk groups by the end of May.

“The Federal Council is going further than proposed,” the government said in a statement. “In so doing, it is responding to the improved epidemiological situation.”

The government said the requirement to work from home was now being downgraded to a recommendation, while public and private gathering limits were being raised.

“As of Monday, restaurants will once again be able to serve guests indoors,” the statement announced.

Up to four people will be allowed at a table, though contact details will have to be recorded. Masks will have to be worn when moving around inside, and the 11:00 pm curfew is being lifted.

Outdoor dining reopened in April.

“Working from home will be a recommendation rather than a requirement for businesses that carry out weekly testing. A return to the office should be gradual,” the government said.

Quarantine exemptions

At public events, up to 100 people will be allowed to gather indoors and up to 300 people outdoors (up from 50 and 100 respectively), up to a maximum of half of the capacity of venues.

At private gatherings, 30 people will be able to meet indoors, and up to 50 outdoors — up from 10 and 15 respectively.

The government also said anyone fully vaccinated with a Swiss or EU-approved jab would be exempt from quarantine on arrival for six months after the second jab (or first if it’s Johnson & Johnson), and no longer needed to be tested or give contact details at the border.

People aged under 16 are also exempt.

The exemptions already applied to people who have recovered from Covid-19. They do not, however, apply to people arriving from countries where virus variants of concern are circulating at a significant level.

READ MORE: Switzerland to lift Covid testing and quarantine requirements for some travellers

In Switzerland, population 8.6 million, more than 688,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19, while nearly 10,200 have lost their lives.

2.76 million people have received their first vaccine dose, while nearly 1.5 million have been fully vaccinated with their second dose.

Switzerland is using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Bern wants to have its next round of easing restrictions on July 1.

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