From 3pm on 17 September 2020, new restrictions will come into force in the Swiss canton of Vaud, which has become Switzerland’s latest SARS-CoV-2 hotspot.
Over the last 14 days, the infection rate in the canton was 197 per 100,000, far above the 60 per 100,000 that qualifies a region to be added to Switzerland’s high risk list. There were 1,557 new cases over the last 14 days in Vaud, according to RTS. Vaud has been on Germany’s high risk list since 9 September 2020.
In response to the rise in infections, the canton’s authorities have decided nightclubs must close and private events of more than 100 people must be banned from 3pm tomorrow.
An exception is being made for the biennial Label Suisse music festival scheduled for the coming weekend. However, attendees must wear masks, maintain a social distance of 1.5m, disinfect hands regularly and not attend if they have any flu-like symptoms. Anyone attending must also provide their contact details when they register and submit to quarantine if someone they are in close contact with at the festival ends up with Covid-19.
In addition, masks are obligatory in all enclosed spaces, including theatres, concert halls and libraries.
Cantonal authorities say there has been a steep rise in cases and people going into quarantine. And while hospital admissions remain low, hospitals have returned to a full schedule of elective surgery. If no action is taken there is a risk of losing control. It is important to act in order not to expose the population to an uncontrolled epidemic and outside economic sanctions, said the government in a press release.
Events and festivities have been identified as the main driver of the rising number of cases, so the canton has decided to take aim at these activities to stem the rise. The measures are aimed at restricting these activities without completely shutting them down. The authorities also plan to double down on contact tracing. The hope is that targeted measures can bring down case numbers while limiting economic damage.
The measures will run from 3pm on 17 September until 30 October 2020. Nightclubs must close and private parties of more than 100 people are to be banned. At events and parties involving 50 or more people everyone must wear a mask and organisers must record the ID and contact details of all participants. Everyone in bars, restaurants and cafés must wear masks, and food and drinks must only be consumed seated. In all other enclosed spaces open to the public, masks are compulsory except for staff working behind a shield.