Switzerland to extend restrictive measures by February-end

Restaurants and leisure venues set to remain closed in a bid to halt an expected infections rise

The pandemic situation in Switzerland remains serious despite restrictions introduced last month, Interior Minister Alain Berset said at a news conference today. “The infections have remained at more or less the same level since the beginning of December,” he pointed out.

The government has prepared a series of proposals, notably extending the closure of restaurants, bars, culture venues and sports across the country until the end of February. A final decision will be taken next week following consultations with the 26 cantons, employers’ organisations and trade unions.

Berset, whose portfolio includes health matters, said the government was aware of the difficult situation, especially faced by the restaurant sector, culture organisations and sports clubs. He said additional economic aid was being considered to cushion the impact of the restrictions, but added that the restrictions in Switzerland remained less strict than in many other European countries even if the rate of infections, deaths or hospitalisations is comparatively high.

Confronted with criticism about the government’s vaccination policy, Berset reiterated that Switzerland had placed orders for more than 15 million jabs for a population of 8.5 million residents. He said a supply of 500,000 doses of vaccine would arrive in Switzerland by the end of this month and an additional one million doses by March.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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