On 28 November 2021, Swiss voters will be asked whether they accept laws passed by the government on 19 March 2021 that paved the way for the introduction of Switzerland’s Covid certificate, a system that provides proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test.
This is the second time a vote has been organised to challenge the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 13 June 2021, voters were given a chance to reverse the first batch of Swiss Covid laws. 60.21% supported the government.
The vote on 28 November 2021 aims to make Switzerland’s Covid certificates, which were introduced on 7 June 2021, illegal.
Organisers of the vote, which include a large number of people from the youth chapter of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP), have strongly criticised the certificates, describing them as discriminatory and likening them to the worst periods of Stalinism.
Others see the certificates as a pragmatic compromise. If other countries require proof of health status to enter then the certificates facilitate travel.
Views on the certificates in business and the hospitality sector are mixed. Some, like many in government, view the certificates as a way to open up and get the economy operating normally again without putting the public or the health system at risk.
However, others feel that the unvaccinated are being unfairly discriminated against and view the certificates as a form of mass surveillance. In addition, they argue that requiring only the unvaccinated to test makes no sense when some vaccinated people can catch the virus and spread it.
The Federal Council is calling on voters to look at the facts rather than follow emotions, reported RTS. The Covid laws have allowed the government to support businesses and staff on reduced hours, it says. The Covid certificate has allowed the population to socialise as normally as possible, according to Alain Berset, Switzerland’s minister of health. We can return to restaurants, museums and cinemas, he said. It’s an effective and accessible way to limit gatherings to those who have little chance of infecting others. It also allows the economy to operate and preserve jobs. The alternative is the reintroduction of restrictions and all the negative effects that has on society and the economy should the numbers rise again, warned another member of the government.