With the first outlined easing steps, the government is at least partially following the public call for more freedom. He wants to make a definitive decision in a week after consulting the cantons.
It is clear that the Federal Council wants to give the people and businesses affected more prospects from now on. If the epidemiological development is favorable and the vaccination rate is higher, further easing should come into force at the beginning of each month “to give more space to social and economic life”.
Distance rules and mask requirement
As of today, all shops should be able to reopen from March 1st. Museums and reading rooms of archives and libraries should also be able to open their doors again. In addition, outdoor leisure and entertainment facilities should be accessible again, namely zoos, botanical gardens and amusement parks.
According to the Federal Council, the number of customers must be limited. Mask requirements and distance rules apply at all locations.
The Federal Council is planning further relaxation outdoors: private events with a maximum of 15 people should be possible again. Sports facilities such as artificial ice rinks, tennis and soccer fields or athletics stadiums should also be allowed to reopen.
Exceptions for young people
In addition to capacity restrictions, the wearing of a mask or keeping your distance apply. Only groups of a maximum of five people are allowed; Competitions and events are still not permitted in popular adult sport.
For children and adolescents up to the age of 16 there are already certain restrictions in the area of sports and culture. The Federal Council now wants to raise the age limit to 18 years and expand the permitted sports and cultural offers. In addition, offers of open child and youth work should be accessible again.
Home office obligation remains.
The Federal Council comments on the first easing as a “cautious opening step”. The epidemiological development is currently favorable, but still “fragile” because of the new, more contagious virus variants. The refore, initially only activities with a low risk of infection should be allowed again.
For the same reason, the Federal Council does not want to open restaurants and other activities yet. All other measures that the Federal Council decided in December and January are also to be extended by one month to the end of March. For example, working from home remains an obligation.
Second step before Easter
On April 1st, shortly before Easter, according to the Federal Council, a second opening step should follow – “if the development is favorable and the vaccination rate is higher”. For example, it would be envisaged that cultural and sporting events with an audience should be made possible again within a narrowly limited framework, as well as indoor sports or the opening of restaurant terraces.
The re will still be no traffic light system, i.e. no automatism. However, the Federal Council has communicated the guideline values on which it makes further easing steps dependent: the positivity rate should be below 5 percent, the occupancy rate of intensive care places with Covid 19 patients below 25 percent, the average number of reproductions over the last 7 days below 1. In addition, the 14-day incidence on March 24th should not be higher than when it opened on March 1st.
Finally, the Federal Council has specified the entry rules for children. With immediate effect, children under the age of 12 are exempt from the obligation to test upon entry. In addition, people who only stay briefly in Switzerland for business reasons, such as truck drivers, do not have to fill out an entry form. In addition to PCR tests, rapid antigen tests are now also approved as test evidence for entry.