IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING THE "COVID-19-SITUATION"

(updated November 3, 2021)

Measures and ordinances

There are various measures, rules and bans in place on the basis of the epidemic. They all have the same goal: to contain the coronavirus. The Federal Council will adapt the national rules if necessary. In some cantons stricter rules apply.


Work

Recommendation to work from home: Working from home is recommended in all areas where it is possible to work from home without disproportionate effort.

COVID certificate: Employers may check whether their employees hold a certificate if this is necessary for deciding on appropriate precautionary measures or for implementing testing concepts. The information on immunity status or the test result may not be used for any other purpose. Employees must be consulted on the use of the certificate and the measures derived from this, and these must be documented in writing. On data protection grounds, employers must use the “light certificate” with minimised data wherever possible.

Masks compulsory indoors: Employees are also subject to the general requirement to wear a mask in publicly accessible indoor spaces. Otherwise there is no longer a general requirement to wear a mask. However, employers are still obliged to protect employees and decide where and when it is necessary to wear a mask at the workplace. You will find more information on the SECO website (in German, French and Italian).

Protection in the workplace: Information can be found (in German, French and Italian) on the page Precautionary measures and on the page People at especially high risk.

Private gatherings and parties

The number of people allowed to attend events among friends and family (for example gatherings and parties) that are not held in publicly accessible establishments and businesses is limited. The numbers include children.

Rule indoors: A maximum of 30 people is allowed.
Rule outdoors: A maximum of 50 people is allowed.

The FOPH’s recommendations on hygiene and distancing have to be observed.

Private events in public establishments The rules of the establishment in question on events apply.

Events

Indoors

Access to indoor events for people aged 16 and over is restricted to holders of a valid COVID certificate.

Exempt from this COVID certificate requirement are:

  • Events with a maximum of 30 people belonging to an association or other fixed group whose members are known to the organiser. For these indoor events, masks must be worn, the consumption of food and drinks is banned and a 2/3 capacity restriction applies.
  • Religious ceremonies, funerals, events that fall within the scope of the normal activities and services of public authorities, political events and self-help groups with up to 50 people. For these indoor events, masks must be worn, the consumption of food and drinks is banned, a 2/3 capacity restriction applies and contact details must be collected.
  • Blood donation campaigns are not considered events and are therefore not subject to the COVID certificate requirement. The current rules on hygiene and social distancing still apply at blood donation centres.

Special requirements apply for indoor events that do not require a COVID certificate. Precise details may be found on the Precautionary measures page.

Outdoors

The following applies for outdoor events where access is not restricted to people holding a COVID certificate:

  • If seating is compulsory, a maximum of 1,000 participants may be admitted.
  • If seating is not compulsory, a maximum of 500 participants may be admitted.

For all outdoor events where COVID certificates are not mandatory, special requirements apply. Precise details may be found on the Precautionary measures page.

Large-scale events

Large-scale events with more than 1,000 people may only be attended by people with a valid COVID certificate.

Trade fairs and consumer shows

If trade fairs and consumer shows are not held exclusively outdoors, access for people aged 16 and over must be limited to those holding a valid COVID certificate.

The organisers of trade fairs and consumer shows must also draw up and implement a set of precautionary measures. If more than 1,000 people are present each day, authorisation must be obtained from the canton.

Masks

Masks must be worn in publicly accessible indoor spaces, for example in shops or in enclosed areas of public vehicles. Further details can be found on the Masks page. The general rule of thumb applies: Always wear a mask indoors when you are away from home, no certificate is required and you are unable to maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres from other people at all times.

Restaurants and bars

For people aged 16 and over, access to the indoor areas of restaurants and bars where people consume food and drinks on the premises must be restricted to holders of a valid COVID certificate. Guests are then no longer subject to restrictions such as the requirement to wear a mask. This rule also applies for hotel restaurants (but not for people just staying overnight in the hotel).

No access restrictions apply for street vendors, company canteens and restaurants in airport transit zones that are only accessible to passengers with tickets. The operators of catering businesses in these areas must put in place precautionary measures that are suitably tailored to the specific situation.

For outdoor areas, operators are free to decide whether they wish to impose access restrictions or not.

If an operator does not restrict access to outdoor areas, either the requisite distance of 1.5 m must be maintained between guest groups or a barrier must be installed.

Nightclubs and dance venues

The following applies to nichtclubs and dance venues: Events where guests dance are only possible if admission is limited to people with a COVID certificate. The contact details of the guests must also be collected.

Cultural, sports and recreational facilities

If visitors are not confined to outdoor areas, access for people aged 16 and over must be restricted to holders of a valid COVID certificate.

This applies to the following, among others:

  • museums
  • concerts
  • theatres
  • cinemas
  • indoor swimming pools, water parks and thermal baths
  • libraries (it is still possible to collect ordered/reserved books without a certificate)
  • fitness centres
  • zoos (if visitors can move between indoor and outdoor areas)

Entry checks with the COVID certificate

When letting people in, it is important that event organisers check the validity of the COVID certificate and always check against matching photo identification (e.g. ID card, passport, driving licence, residence permit, student card). In addition, organisers of large-scale events must obtain a cantonal permit. The COVID certificate is the only permissible document for entry. This applies to both the Swiss COVID certificate and to recognised foreign certificates (e.g. the EU Digital COVID Certificate). You’ll find more information for checkers and issuers on the COVID certificate on the corresponding page.

Cultural and sporting leisure activities

For indoor cultural and sporting activities, access for people aged 16 and over must be restricted to holders of a valid COVID certificate. In addition, the premises must have effective ventilation.

Cultural and sporting activities can be performed without the requirement for a COVID certificate if a maximum of 30 people are present who regularly meet up in the group and are known to the organiser. This applies to cultural and sporting leisure activities carried out in clubs (e.g. football training, choir rehearsals) as well as cultural and sporting activities independent of clubs, e.g. yoga classes.

For competitions and performances before spectators or an audience the rules for events apply.

No distinction is now made between professional and amateur sportspeople or professional and amateur performers. You will find more information on the Federal Office of Sport FOS website and the Federal Office of Culture FOC website

Schools

Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools (e.g. baccalaureate and vocational schools): Measures for compulsory schools and upper secondary schools (for example requiring the wearing of masks) are the responsibility of the cantons.

Tertiary level (e.g. universities and other higher education institutions) and recreational courses: Masks must be worn in accordance with Article 6 of the Special Situation Ordinance, a two thirds capacity restriction applies and a set of precautionary measures must be in place. The cantons or institutions of higher education may impose a certificate requirement for attending Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses (after examining the admissibility of such a restriction in the light of the teaching mission, its practicability and the availability of a sufficient data processing basis). The requirement to wear a mask and the restriction to two thirds occupancy will then no longer apply.

Precautionary measures

All operators of publicly accessible establishments and businesses must draw up and implement precautionary measures.

Isolation

Anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus must self-isolate. Details can be found on the Isolation and quarantine page.

Quarantine

People who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive must go into quarantine.

Details and exceptions can be found on the Isolation and quarantine and Entering Switzerland page.


Penalties

Anyone contravening the measures to fight the epidemic is committing an offence; persons who fail to comply with the rules may be fined between 50 and 200 francs, depending on the offence. For example, anyone who does not wear a mask in the enclosed areas of public vehicles, in enclosed railway stations and in publicly accessible buildings may be fined. A fixed penalty may also be issued to persons attending banned events, breaching the requirement for a certificate or holding an unpermitted private event.


Measures to date

Would you like to know what measures the federal government has adopted in the past? In this case you have various options:



Legal support


If you need legal advice or assistance in the current "COVID-19-situation", we are of course at your disposal. Despite the constantly evolving measures and rules, we keep an overview and are happy to be there for you!


Office operation


Free and unrestricted access to legal assistance is essential for a functioning legal system.

Our office will therefore remain open for you, taking into account our corona protection concept.

Meetings can also be held by phone or video call.


Links to official Corona information and measurements


- Canton of Berne (in French and German only)
- Federal authorities
- Campaign website


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