Governments in the cantons of Neuchâtel, Vaud and Valais recently tightened Covid rules as required by the federal government.
On 18 December 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Council tightened restrictions to fight against the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Under the federal rules Switzerland’s cantons were allowed to keep certain things open provided the reproduction rate remained lower than 1 and the 7-day infection rate was under the Swiss average. Under this exception much of French-speaking Switzerland allowed museums, libraries, gyms, sports facilities, kiosques, zoos and parks to remain open during the festive period.
However, reproduction rates have now risen above 1 in Neuchâtel (1.11), Vaud (1.03) and Valais (1.20) and the remaining federal restrictions have been introduced in these cantons, effective from midnight on Sunday 3 January 2020. These places will remain closed until at least 22 January 2021.
Restaurants and takeaway food on the mountain in ski resorts will also close. However, ski lifts continue to operate for the time being.
Private gatherings in Vaud and Neuchâtel are reduced to 5 people, down from 10. In Valais the limit will remain at 10 in line with the rules set by the Federal Council on 18 December 2020.
The cantons of Geneva and Jura brought their restrictions into line with the federal rules before Christmas. Fribourg is now the only canton in Western Switzerland with exceptions to the federal rules. From Tuesday, 5 January 2020, reproduction rates will need to be below 0.9 before a canton can reduce restrictions, rather than the previous level of 1. The latest rate in Fribourg is 0.94.