The cantons are demanding more speed from the Federal Council. A majority of the cantons want restaurants to be able to serve guests at least outside as early as next week. And not just from April 1, as the Federal Council has planned.
This emerges from the consultation responses of the cantons, which the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors (GDK) has collected and summarized. On Wednesday, the Federal Council will definitely decide on this basis how things will continue on March 1st and at what rhythm further easing should take place.
Only 14 cantons (almost) agree with the plan
It is now important that we quickly succeed in “giving the population, business and politics a perspective and a certain degree of predictability”, the GDK states. The state government is conveying such a perspective with the cautious opening steps from next week.
Opinions are divided when it comes to the question of how exactly these opening steps should look and in which rhythm they should take place. Only 14 cantons fully or with some reservations agree to the Federal Council’s easing schedule. 11 cantons are calling for adjustments, one canton explicitly rejects the government’s proposal according to the GDK. The GDK does not say which cantons are involved. The statements are only public from some of the cantons.
Complete opening of the pickling areas from April 1st
Corrections are primarily needed on two points, according to the status: On the one hand, just under the majority of the cantons are in favor of more elastic time intervals between the easing steps. Instead of every four weeks, the Federal Council should consider further easing every three, some cantons even every two weeks.
A little over half of the cantons also criticized the timid approach to pickling. The y are convinced that opening the outside areas is associated with a low risk of transmission if strict protection concepts are adhered to. In addition, demand is likely to be limited given the time of year. Nevertheless, the cantons are convinced that this is an important sign for the catering industry.
The GDK points out that this would also resolve the terrace dispute in the ski areas. In the mountain cantons, many restaurants currently allow customers to sit down at the table for lunch – which is currently prohibited.
Further corrections required
In addition to the big and foreseeable issue of pickling, there are many other suggestions for smaller adjustments. Various cantons are in favor of not only opening the outdoor areas of zoos, animal parks and botanical gardens from March 1st. It is not clear why museums are allowed to be open, but not the interior areas of these establishments. Some cantons also find it possible to reopen cinemas, theaters and other cultural and leisure facilities from March 1 or 15.
Another topic is the education sector. Some cantons insist that teaching at universities and in the further education sector should be “normalized” again from April 1st. Distance learning has been back at universities and technical colleges since November – there is currently no end in sight.
Not enough time to take a stand
Last but not least, the cantons also criticize the fact that – once again – they had very little time to comment on the Federal Council’s proposals. “A controlled exit strategy involves a longer process. So the dates should have been set in such a way that the cantons had enough time to assess the measures, ”states the Health Directors Conference. “Especially cantons that are trying to achieve consolidation within government bodies are disadvantaged.”
Many cantons are also likely to be frustrated because they now know that their opinions have little influence on the Federal Council’s decision-making process.
The past few months have shown that the state government is willing to make smaller concessions here and there, but generally does not allow itself to be dissuaded from its plan, despite strong criticism in the consultation. In January, for example, a majority of the cantons spoke out against the closure of shops and the obligation to work from home. But the Federal Council stuck to it and ultimately implemented even stricter measures than it had originally planned. The Federal Council was not deterred by resistance from parliament. (lha)