Most Swiss complying with Covid mask rules, police say

The Swiss Federal Railways is also satisfied with the level of compliance from customers, who must wear face masks on public transport. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Interventions by law enforcement authorities since protective face masks became mandatory in enclosed public spaces nearly three months ago have mainly taken the form of dialogue with members of the public.

This content was published on January 11, 2021 - 18:59

Cantonal police forces are generally satisfied with mask-wearing compliance, news agency Keystone-SDA reported on Monday. Police officers do not explicitly carry out checks but will approach people not wearing masks during regular patrols and follow up on reports of infractions.

The St. Gallen cantonal police said staff saw it “as our duty to help citizens implement the measures," which were brought in to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Police in canton Graubunden told Keystone people can usually be persuaded to wear a mask after a conversation. Basel-City police said the need to explain the measure had declined and there were “very rare” cases of refusals to don masks.

The number of charges laid for failing to wear a mask were relatively low. Canton Zurich reported close to 3,000 warnings and “a handful of reprimands” in the last six weeks of 2020. In Bern, cautions were issued mainly around demonstrations. Some cantons, however, do not keep separate statistics on misdemeanours connected with mask-wearing.

The Swiss Federal Railways, which also does not keep data on misconduct, said they were also satisfied with the level of compliance from customers. Masks have been mandatory on public transport since June 2020 and became mandatory in indoor public places nationwide on October 19.

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