Coronavirus: Federal Council decides on extensive easing of measures as of 6 June

Bern, 27.05.2020 - From 6 June, the measures put in place to fight the new coronavirus will be extensively eased. That is the decision taken by the Federal Council at its meeting on 27 May in view of the positive developments in the epidemiological situation. All events for up to 300 people may now go ahead. Spontaneous gatherings of up to 30 people are now permitted. All leisure and entertainment businesses and tourist attractions may reopen. The Federal Council has also decided to end the extraordinary situation under the terms of the Epidemics Act with effect from 19 June.

The Federal Council began to ease measures to protect the population from COVID-19 on 27 April and 11 May. These two steps have had not resulted in an increase in epidemiological indicators. The number of new cases of infection has remained stable at a low level for a number of weeks now, as has the number of hospital admissions and deaths.

Contact tracing must be assured
The Federal Council is therefore easing most of the remaining restrictions as of 6 June on condition that all establishments and events have
appropriate sets of precautionary measures in place. Hygiene and social distancing rules must still be observed. If it is not possible to respect
social distancing rules, contact tracing must be assured, by means of attendance lists, for example.

Ban on gatherings: 30 people instead of 5
The ban on gatherings in public, in particular in public spaces, promenades and parks is to be eased. As of 30 May, the upper limit will be
increased from 5 to 30 people.

The gathering of signatures in public will be allowed to resume from 1 June with a corresponding set of precautionary measures. A standard set of precautionary measures is available for initiative and referendum committees. Deadlines for submitting federal popular requests remain suspended until the end of May.

Events with up to 300 people allowed
From 6 June, private and public events with up to 300 people are to be allowed. This includes family events, fairs, concerts, theatre performances and film screenings, as well as political and civil society demonstrations.

The Federal Council will decide on events for up to 1000 people and the easing of further restrictions on 24 June. Large-scale events with more than 1000 people continue to be prohibited until 31 August.

Sports events allowed to resume
The same rules apply for sports events as for all other types of event. Competitions in sports involving continuous, close physical contact, such as Swiss-style wrestling, judo, boxing and dancing in pairs are likely to remain prohibited until 6 July. Training activities for all sports may resume without any restrictions on group sizes from 6 June. This also applies for sports activities involving close physical contact. Training sessions in these sports should be attended by regular teams and attendance lists kept.

Holiday camps for children and young people
Many camps are set to take place for children and young people during the summer months. And many local authorities also organise daylong programmes during the holidays. These activities will be allowed to go ahead from 6 June as long as appropriate sets of precautionary measures are in place. Children and young people should remain in the same groups wherever possible. The upper limit for camps is 300 people and organisers must keep an attendance list.

Mountain rail and cableways, campsites, zoos and swimming pools to reopen
Mountain rail and cableways, campsites and tourist attractions such as toboggan runs and rope parks may reopen from 6 June. The same hygiene and social distancing rules apply in mountain rail and cableways as for public transport. All leisure and entertainment businesses such as casinos, amusement parks, zoos and botanic gardens may reopen, as can swimming pools and spas. From 6 June, strip clubs may also reopen and services offered by sex workers may resume.

Restaurants: larger groups allowed
As of 6 June, the limit on group sizes at restaurants to four people will be lifted, and activities such as playing pool or live music performances
will once again be allowed. However, establishments should be able to ensure contact tracing; for groups of more than four people they are required to take the contact details of one guest per table. Customers may still only be served when seated. All establishments are required to close at midnight. This also applies to discos and nightclubs. They must also compile an attendance list and may not admit more than 300 people a night.

Classroom teaching at upper secondary and vocational schools and at higher education institutions
Classroom teaching at upper secondary and vocational schools and at higher education institutions will be able to resume from 8 June. Under what form the teaching resumes is a matter for the cantons or the educational institutions. Teaching can be organised in a flexible manner and they and the may continue to make use of distance-learning channels.

Recommendations on working from home remain in place
Businesses have gained a wealth of experience with regard to staff working from home. On that basis, they are free to decide on a return to the
workplace. The Federal Council continues to recommend that people continue to work from home, not least to avoid overcrowding on public transport. Staff at especially high risk continue to enjoy protection. Employers are still required to allow people at high risk to work from home. If it is essential for someone to work on site, the employer must take steps to protect that person by adapting working processes or the workplace.

Extraordinary situation to end on 19 June
In view of the improved epidemiological situation, the Federal Council has also decided to downgrade the situation status under the terms of the Epidemics Act from ‘extraordinary' to ‘special' with effect from 19 June. In parallel to that, the Federal Council is preparing to transfer the relevant COVID provisions into an urgent and limited COVID-19 Act, which is expected to be submitted for consultation on 19 June.


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