New health safety measures were announced on Wednesday by the Federal Council to stem the sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 contamination.
The wearing of masks will take effect from Thursday outdoors, in high-traffic places such as restaurant terraces, around shops or Christmas markets. The Federal Council extended its obligations in this area on Wednesday.
Since 19 October, wearing masks is mandatory in all closed public spaces, including station platforms, bus stops and airports. From now on, it is necessary to equip oneself where preventive distances cannot be maintained, inside and outside.
This applies to busy pedestrian areas, outdoor areas of facilities and establishments such as shops, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, restaurants, bars as well as Christmas markets and markets.
Masks will also be compulsory at secondary school level II, the level after compulsory education. It will also be used anywhere in the work place, except where distance can be respected or in individual offices. Teleworking should be liked by employers. Employee protection must be ensured.
Children under 12 years are exempt. Just like a person who can beg for medical reasons. Restaurant and bar patrons can remove them while seated. Several cantons took office in the last week.
Closed discotheques and nightclubs, four tables in restaurants and bars, demonstrations of more than 50 people banned: The Federal Council is adapting its strategy against the coronavirus. The measures took effect Thursday for an indefinite period.
Owners of discotheques, nightclubs and other dance venues across Switzerland must close their doors. The high risk of spreading the virus is very high in these places, the government said on Wednesday.
Restaurants and bars have to stop their service from 11pm to 6am. Only four people can group together per table, but exceptions will be made for families with children.
Meetings of family or friends in private circles will be limited to ten people, due to the high amount of contamination in this context. Events attended by more than 50 people are no longer allowed whether they are sports, culture, religion or any other activity.
On the other hand, parliamentary and municipal assemblies can take place. Political demonstrations and collecting signatures for referendums or initiatives are possible, depending on the protective measures in place.
Exceptions for professionals
Indoor non-professional sports and cultural activities are limited to fifteen people. Distance and mask wearing must be respected. In large halls, masks are not mandatory if distances are guaranteed.
Contact sports are prohibited. This rule applies from the age of 16 years.
Among professionals, athletes can continue their training and competition, professional artists, their training and performance. Amateur choirs can no longer practice, unlike professionals.
Teaching at universities and other secondary schools will be conducted remotely from 2 November. Lessons in compulsory and secondary schools II (gymnasiums and vocational schools) can be given face-to-face.
Rapid tests can be used from Monday to determine Covid-19 infection. The Federal Council has decided to introduce them to isolate positive cases faster. He also set new rules for quarantine on Wednesday.
The National Reference Center for Emerging Viral Infections (crive) in Geneva is evaluating the accuracy of this test, which provides a result in 15 minutes. Less sensitive than the virological PCR test, the antigenic test cannot be used for the entire population.
Only people who show symptoms, meet Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) criteria and who are not part of the risk category may benefit from rapid testing. Symptoms should have appeared less than four days ago.
If the rapid test results are negative, but the person has symptoms, they should be isolated for up to 24 hours after symptoms disappear. A single test did not rule out infection, the government recalled.
Asymptomatic people who have been alerted by the SwissCovid tracking app can also undergo a rapid test. Regardless of the outcome, they must remain under quarantine. If positive, they should also have a PCR test.
The test will be replaced by the Confederation; but only for people who meet the criteria issued by FOPH.
Unlike the virological PCR test, the antigen test does not look for viral genetic material, but for the proteins present in the virus. Analytical techniques are faster and generally do not require special equipment. It is possible to do it in a delocalized way, without a laboratory.
According to first-hand experience, the fact of getting results quickly increases the desire to be tested and tell those around him.
In light of the very high incidence of coronavirus cases in Switzerland, the Federal Council also raised the threshold value to put countries and territories on the quarantine list.
Only countries and territories where the incidence exceeds the incidence in Switzerland by more than 60 will be declared at risk. Those who returned will have to undergo quarantine. This duration is maintained for ten days. People who avoid quarantine can be punished with a maximum fine of 10,000 francs
Exceptions for business travel and people traveling for medical reasons are also adjusted. Currently, this trip cannot last more than five days. This rule was abolished.
Changes took effect Thursday.
Country is at risk
Belgium, Czech Republic, Andorra and Armenia: The Federal Council now classifies only these four countries as well as three zones in France as areas at risk of being linked to the coronavirus. The government has changed the criteria.
The new ordinance will take effect Thursday. Only people entering Switzerland from these four countries will have to undergo a ten-day quarantine. In France, the Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France regions as well as the overseas territories of French Polynesia are of concern.
As of Wednesday morning, 12,099 people were quarantined after arriving in Switzerland. Also on Wednesday, the list of risk areas covered more than sixty countries and many regions in neighboring countries.
In light of the explosion of cases in Switzerland, the Federal Council decided to change its criteria. Previously, the rule was for countries with more than 60 new infections per 100,000 population in the past 14 days on the list, with the exception of border areas.
According to the new regulations, only countries or regions with an index of 14 days per 100,000 population over 60 are higher than Switzerland on the list. According to the Federal Public Health Office (OFSP), the current value of nearly 763 cases per 100,000 population in Switzerland is significantly higher than in other countries.
Health Minister Alain Berset said last week that it was illogical to include a list of countries and territories that have fewer infections than Switzerland.
(ATS / NXP)
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