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Corona restrictions broken  1,000 people gather for unofficial football match 

Lausanne police officers

Lausanne police officers on patrol near the lake shore in March

(Keystone / Laurent Gillieron)

Almost 1,000 young people have broken coronavirus restrictions in Switzerland by attending an unofficial football match in Lausanne on Thursday evening. Police made no arrests. 

Mass gatherings are currently forbidden under government-imposed rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

+ Covid-19 and the situation in Switzerland 

The match, between teams from Lausanne and Yverdon, was held in the suburbs in a party atmosphere, the Swiss public broadcaster RTS reportedexternal link. Attendees were generally aged between 16 and 20 years old and had been alerted to the event on social media and messaging apps. It was not immediately clear whether professional or amateur players were involved, RTS said. 

Investigation  

Police have started an investigation into who was responsible for organising the match. “It was deemed counterproductive and even dangerous for police to intervene given the number of people attending,” city police spokesman Antoine Golay told RTS.  

He added that police did not, however, sanction this gathering. “We can see that part of the population don’t feel concerned by the pandemic,” Golay said. 

The match took part in the northern part of the city. “We knew that something was brewing but we didn’t know the exact location. That made it hard to stop the game in advance,” the spokesman added. 

tweet rts

The news comes as Switzerland gradually relaxes its lockdown measures and more people go out and about. On Saturday large crowds partied in Basel, drawing criticism, especially at the lack of police presence.  

Hundreds of protestors have been joining demonstrations in some Swiss cities at the weekends over the lockdown. 

Covid-19 How Swiss police approach coronavirus crowd control

As people fail – or forget – to comply with social distancing rules, some wonder why the police aren’t cracking down harder.

Keystone-SDA/RTS/swissinfo.ch/ilj

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