In an exciting and (slightly unexpected) move the Swiss government has announced a massive reduction in lockdown measures.

This has been done in the light of infection rates across the country being under control and the fact that the Swiss health system is coping well.

Here is the full translated text – you can find the link to the original press release in French at the end.





Bern, 27.05.2020

As of 6 June 2020, the measures against the coronavirus will be significantly relaxed. The Federal Council took this decision at its meeting on 27 May 2020 on the basis of positive epidemiological developments.

It is once again possible to organise events for up to 300 people. Spontaneous gatherings of up to 30 people are also once again permitted.

Leisure facilities and other tourist attractions can reopen.

The Federal Council has also decided that the situation will no longer be regarded as extraordinary within the meaning of the Epidemics Act from 19 June 2020.

The Federal Council had already relaxed the measures taken to protect the population against the coronavirus on 27 April and 11 May 2020.

These two steps did not lead to an increase in epidemiological indicators: in recent weeks, the number of new infections has remained stable and at a low level, as have the number of hospitalisations and deaths.



Tracing of close contacts must be ensured

In view of this, the Federal Council has decided to relax the measures to a large extent from 6 June 2020. The condition is that protection plans must be implemented for all affected facilities and events.

Hygiene and distance regulations remain mandatory.

If the rules of distance cannot be complied with, the possibility of tracing close personal contacts in the event of infection must be guaranteed, for example by drawing up attendance lists.



Limits to gatherings: 30 people instead of five

The ban on gatherings in public spaces, particularly in public squares, paths or parks is relaxed: from 30 May 2020, the limit will be raised from 5 to 30 people.

The collection of signatures in the public space (petitions etc) will be possible again from 1 June, subject to the implementation of a protection plan. Please note that a standard protection plan is available to initiative and referendum committees. The suspension of the deadlines for federal popular initiatives and referendum requests at the federal level extends until the end of May.



Demonstrations for up to 300 people are permitted

As of 6 June, private and public demonstrations with up to 300 people are again permitted.

These include family reunions, trade fairs, concerts, theatre performances and film screenings, as well as political and civil society gatherings.

On 24 June, the Federal Council will decide on events with up to 1,000 people and other possible relaxations.

Demonstrations involving more than 1,000 people will remain banned until 31 August 2020.



Spectator sports are possible again

The same rules apply to sporting events. For sports involving close and constant physical contact, such as wrestling, judo, boxing or ballroom dancing, competitions should remain prohibited until 6 July 2020.

For their part, training is again allowed from 6 June, without any restrictions on group size, including for sports involving close contact.

However, for these sports, training must take place in fixed teams and a list of those present must be drawn up.



Summer camps for young people are possible

In the summer, many camps bring together children and young people and many municipalities offer day facilities during the holidays.

It will be possible to organise these offers from 6 June onwards if protection plans are in place. As far as possible, children and young people should stay in the same groups.

Camps are limited to 300 participants and attendance lists must be drawn up.



Ski lifts, campsites, zoos and swimming pools may reopen

On 6 June, the ski lifts, campsites and tourist attractions such as summer toboggan runs and tree climbing parks will be able to reopen. The rules of hygiene and distance from public transport apply to the ski lifts.

All entertainment and leisure facilities such as casinos, amusement parks, zoos and botanical gardens can once again welcome people, as can swimming pools and wellness centres.

From 6 June, erotic fairs will also be able to resume their activities and prostitution services will be offered.



Catering establishments: Larger groups allowed

As of June 6, the four-person group limit in the restaurants will be lifted and activities such as billiards and other musical entertainment will once again be possible.

Establishments will have to guarantee the possibility of tracing contacts by collecting the data of one customer per table for each group of more than four people.

Drinks and meals will continue to be taken exclusively at the table.

Restaurants must close at midnight, as must discotheques and nightclubs, which must also keep attendance lists and not admit more than 300 people per evening.



Classroom instruction is once again possible in upper secondary schools, vocational schools and universities

Classroom teaching in secondary, vocational and higher education (upper secondary, tertiary and continuing education) will be allowed again from 6 June 2020. It is up to the cantons or educational institutions to determine the modalities of classroom teaching. They may organise education flexibly and continue to operate distance learning.



The recommendations on working remotely are maintained

Companies now have extensive experience of “teleworking”, on the basis of which they can freely decide when their employees return to the workplace.

The Federal Council continues to recommend working from home wherever possible, in particular to avoid overloading public transport at peak times.

Vulnerable persons remain protected: their employer is still obliged to let them work at home. If their presence at work is indispensable, it is the employer’s responsibility to protect them by making appropriate adaptations to processes or the workplace.



The situation will no longer be considered extraordinary as of June 19, 2020

In view of the epidemiological developments, the Federal Council has also decided to no longer consider the situation as extraordinary in the
meaning of the law on epidemics from 19 June 2020.

From that moment on, the situation will again be considered special. At the same time, the Federal Council is preparing the transfer of the ordinance provisions it has issued to combat the coronavirus into a law.

The draft of the draft directive is expected to be put out for consultation on 19 June 2020.