Majority favour wearing masks inside

A woman shopping in a mask in canton Basel City Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

Seven out of ten Swiss people would like to see face marks made compulsory for public indoor spaces, according to a survey. But some respondents were sceptical about having a vaccination against Covid-19.

This content was published on September 25, 2020 - 12:21
Keystone-SDA/Migros/swissinfo.ch/ilj

The poll, carried out mid-September for Migros-Magazin and published on Friday, found that 68% of the 1,031 people surveyed were in favour of wearing masks in public closed spaces. However, 67% said they found cantonal differences on the issue confusing.

Face masks are mandatory on Swiss public transport, air flights and at Basel and Geneva airports. Nine cantons (Zurich, Vaud, Geneva, Basel City, Valais, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Solothurn and Jura) have made face masks mandatory in shops. Canton Vaud is the only one to have made them mandatory in all public closed spaces.

Scepticism

When it came to being vaccinated against the coronavirus, it was another story. Only 41% said they would get the jab as soon as the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) gave the green light. Scepticism was particularly high among 30- to 45-year-old men, Migros-Magazin reported.

Around half of those surveyed thought the federal authorities had done a good job and reacted in the right way to the pandemic. Around 20% thought officials had overreacted.

The FOPH has come in for criticism for confusion over its Covid-19 data.

Around 28% said they thought democratic rights were at risk. And only one in five felt that the crisis would soon be over.

Commenting on the results for Migros-Magazin, Basel sociology professor Oliver Nachtwey said there were some positive signals, like the large acceptance of masks. But scepticism over the vaccine was more concerning.

“There is a not-to-be-underestimated part of the population that feels extremely uncertain and distrusts the official explanations of the authorities,” he said.

The survey comes as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. A poll conducted for the FOPH published at the end of August found widespread acceptance of masks in public transport and 60% of people in favour of wearing them in shops. Only 33% wanted to wear masks to work.

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