On 8 December 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced it was considering further restrictions starting from 12 December 2020 and running until 20 January 2021.
The Federal Council announced that it plans to harmonise and reinforce measures recently introduced by the cantons. It will meet on 11 December 2020 and again on 18 December 2020 to decide on further measures to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it said in a press release.
The epidemiological situation has deteriorated further in recent days. Infection numbers have begun to rise again and intensive care bed occupancy remains very high, said the Federal Council. The recent rise in spread could be due to bad weather and a drop in temperature, it noted.
After the recent low of a daily average of fewer than 3,000 new reported cases during the last weekend of November, the number has been rising. On 9 December 2020, the figure was 5,086.
On 4 December 2020, Switzerland’s president and interior minister voiced their concerns and discussed the deteriorating epidemiological situation with the cantons Of particular concern is the exhaustion of hospital and nursing home healthcare workers.
On 11 December 2020, the Federal Council will meet to discuss new measures to be introduced from 12 December 2020 until 20 January 2021. Proposals to be submitted to the cantons include:
- 7pm closing times and Sunday closure of restaurants, shops, markets, gyms and recreational facilities.
- Private functions reduced to a maximum of 5 people and two households. The number would be extended to 10 people for festivities on 24, 25, 26 and 31 December 2020.
- A ban on public gatherings other than religious festivities and parliamentary gatherings.
- A ban on all cultural and professional gatherings involving the public.
If the situation deteriorates further the Federal Council would consider further measures at its meeting on 18 December 2020, for example the closure of restaurants and retailers.