Switzerland widens reopening

Switzerland went on the road to full reopening by announcing today a plan aimed at putting the country at Europe's vanguard of back-to-normal life, news wires reported. The plan balances on protecting the economy with keeping some pandemic-related health measures.

Under the new plan large concerts or sporting events topping 10,000 people will be allowed starting on Saturday, provided attendees can produce so-called Covid certificates showing they are vaccinated, have recovered or tested negative. Mask-wearing outdoors will no longer be required, restaurant seating will be unlimited and discos and dance clubs can re-open, although entry will be restricted to those with Covid-19 certificates.

For events where no Covid certificate is required, attendance will be limited to 1,000 people when there is seating, or 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors if there is no seating arrangement.

Starting Saturday, Switzerland will also ease travel from European countries, the US, Albania and Serbia, aiming to help the pandemic-hit tourism sector just as the summer travel season begins. Health measures on the border will concentrate only on those countries where variants of concern are spreading. "Vaccinated and recovered people can enter without the obligation to test or quarantine, as long as it is certain that the vaccination offers good protection," the government said, adding others must be tested and go into quarantine.

Switzerland's re-opening plan accelerates previous proposals that foresaw allowing 5,000-person events in July and 10,000-person events come 20 August.

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