The use of a mask will be mandatory starting this Monday (19) in closed public places across Switzerland, the government announced on Sunday (18). The objective is to contain the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.
“This week, the number of cases has doubled, and the increase is now exponential,” Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga told a news conference to justify the seriousness of the situation.
Switzerland was not relatively affected by the pandemic in the first half and imposed limited restrictions. However, during the summer, the authorities and citizens lowered their guard.
Health Minister Alain Berset said at the same press conference that the rate of positive tests for Covid-19 is currently around “15%, 16%”.
On Sunday, hundreds of protesters against these new restrictions protested in Bern, in front of the federal palace, according to an AFP photographer.
In addition to closed public places, the use of a mask will also be mandatory at stations and airports, as well as at bus and train stops.
In addition, meetings with more than 15 people in public and private places are prohibited.
In restaurants, bars or nightclubs, only sitting consumption will be allowed.
The government also recommended the use of remote work.
The Swiss were relatively spared by the new coronavirus, despite their proximity to Italy, the epicenter of the pandemic in Europe.
Switzerland, with 8.5 million inhabitants, reports 74,422 cases of Covid-19 and 2,123 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University on Sunday.
The country announced at the end of April the suspension of the containment measures slowly and gradually due to the slowdown at the time of the epidemic. The measure was criticized for being implemented too soon.