Swiss government decides against further Covid restrictions

Watching the ice hockey from the socially distanced comfort of one's car in Davos on Sunday Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

The government says the epidemiological situation in Switzerland remains worrying, but it believes the measures taken on December 18 are appropriate and do not need to be tightened.

This content was published on December 30, 2020 - 12:58

In a statementExternal link on Wednesday it said would continue to monitor developments closely and would reassess the situation on January 6.

On December 18 the government closed all restaurants and bars, sports and recreation centres and other cultural institutions for a month. It controversially allowed cantons to decide whether to let ski areas remain open.

The reproduction value of the virus is currently below 1 (0.86 on December 18), the government noted on Wednesday. “However, this decrease and the low number of new cases reported in recent days should be viewed with great caution. They can be explained to a considerable extent by the decrease in tests carried out during the holidays and the delay in reporting new cases, hospitalisations and deaths,” it said.

On Tuesday the president of the government’s Covid-19 scientific taskforce called for an immediate reduction in the “sad” number of cases and for widespread testing of the population.

Following the appearance of new fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus in the UK and South Africa, the government took measures on December 21 to prevent or slow down their spread in Switzerland.

“To date, seven people infected with this new variant have been identified thanks to the intensified sequencing of positive tests,” it said.

The government said the measures decided on December 18 were therefore all the more important to limit the number of new cases and slow the spread of these new variants. However, “if these new variants continue to spread, further measures cannot be ruled out”.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 447,905 people have tested positive for the virus and 7,005 have died in Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million.

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