The Swiss cantons of Fribourg and Valais follow a growing number other cantons and make masks compulsory in shops.
The new rule comes into force in Fribourg on Friday 28 August 2020 and in Valais on Monday 31 August 2020.
After Switzerland’s first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections, the federal government decided to give Switzerland’s cantons more room to implement their own strategies for controlling the spread of the virus. This means cantons can act locally and more independently of the federal government in Bern. It also means Switzerland’s response is now more piecemeal.
In Fribourg, from Friday, anyone aged over 12 must wear a mask in shops and supermarkets. In restaurants, bars and nightclubs only staff are required to wear masks, however guests must follow other rules for reducing the spread of infection.
In Valais, from next Monday, the new mask rule applies to everyone over 12 in a shop or enclosed commercial space except those is restaurants and hotels.
On 27 August 2020, the 14-day new infection rates was 65 per 100,000 in Fribourg and on 26 August 2020 the same rate was 33 in Valais. Any country with a 14-day new infection rate above 60 is considered a potential risk region by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). When infection rates hit this level it triggers a detailed analysis and typically leads to a 10 day quarantine requirement for those arriving from such countries. If Fribourg were a country it would likely be on Switzerland’s list of risk countries, and anyone arriving from there would need to quarantine.
People arriving from 53 nations are currently required to announce their arrival to cantonal authorities and quarantine for 10 days. Anyone caught flouting the rules risks a fine as high as CHF 10,000.
Valais and Fribourg follow the cantons of Vaud, Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Basel-City and Zurich in introducing compulsory mask wearing in shops.