Swiss retail demands end to mask wearing ‘by start of August’

Swiss retail demands end to mask wearing 'by start of August'
A woman wears a mask while shopping for groceries. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/KEYSTONE | Urs Flueeler
The Swiss Retail Federation is pushing for the mask-wearing requirement to be lifted in shops, while nightclub owners want an end to the Covid certificate requirement in autumn.

According to the retail trade body, once everyone in Switzerland has been offered a Covid vaccine appointment, there will no longer any justification to keep restrictions such as mask-wearing in place.

This could happen within a month, the organisation believes. 

“The mask-wearing requirement must be scrapped by the end of July or start of August,” said SRF director Dagmar Jenni.

Speaking to SonntagsZeitung on Sunday, Jenni said that the obligation to wear masks in shops could no longer be considered proportionate to the risk of catching Covid. 

According to Switzerland’s Covid laws, regulations designed to protect the population must “have the least and shortest possible restrictive effect on social and economic life,” she explained.

After that, according to Jenni, the obligation to wear a mask would “come across as a chicane in the shops, both for employees and customers”.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What are the rules for wearing masks in Switzerland?

It is significantly lower than in offices, she added.

Clubs ‘need normalisation’ 

Retail is not the only industry clamouring for an end to Covid restrictions in Switzlerland.

Nightclub and bar owners are also keen to see an end to some of the government’s measures – in particular the obligation for customers to present Covid certificates in order to be allowed in.

READ ALSO: EU agrees to recognise Switzerland’s vaccination certificate

The Club and Bar Commission, the trade association for club operators, told SonntagsZeitung that while the certificate rule is fine at present, it will have to be removed once a greater proportion of the Swiss population is vaccination. 

“As vaccination progresses, we also need normalisation,” said spokesperson Alexander Bücheli. “The vaccination campaign will hopefully be so advanced by the end of August or the beginning of September that the club’s certificate requirement can be lifted again. “


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