Switzerland to decide further Covid measures on Wednesday

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset walks past a poster reminding people to wear masks. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset walks past a poster reminding people to wear masks. Switzerland will decide on further Covid measures on Wednesday. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss officials are waiting until Wednesday to make a decision on expanding Covid measures, saying more data is needed on the Omicron variant, particularly with regard to hospitalisation.

For the time being, the Federal Council has refrained from introducing stricter measures to rein in the spread of coronavirus, saying insufficient information is available about the risks of the Omicron variant. 

However, “the next few days are crucial,” said Lukas Engelberger, head of the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors.

Engelberger told Switzerland’s Sonntagszeitung newspaper that new data would be available by Wednesday which would allow federal authorities to make a decision. 

“If the use of intensive care units continues to increase by then, the Federal Council will not be able to avoid adopting new measures as early as next week or at least submitting them to the cantons for consultation.”

He added that “the most important thing is that we have a suitable measures for the Omicron wave and not simply rely on the most convenient one. 

“If further tightening is needed, they must come from the federal government as far as they concern the basic rules, for example where 2-G or 2-G plus applies.”

Some early reports from the United Kingdom have suggested Omicron, although more infectious, actually produces more mild symptoms than known variants of the virus – and in particular the Delta variant. 

There have however been indications from abroad that known vaccines are less effective against the variant. 

What measures are currently in place in Switzerland? 

Some cantons have put in place their own measures, including various rules on masks in schools, while others on Monday decided to shorten their quarantine requirement. 

Covid-19: Eight Swiss cantons shorten their quarantine requirements

The most stringent measures have however been imposed at a federal level, including a nationwide 2G rule for restaurants, along with limits on private and public gatherings. 

More information as to Switzerland’s current measures can be found here

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