On 2 February 2022, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced it was lifting the requirements to work from home and to quarantine after contact with an infected person from Thursday, 3 February 2022.
In addition, the government is looking at the possibility of lifting a wide range of other measures. Further decisions are to be made on 16 February 2022, said the government.
The Federal Council has seen a positive development in hospitalisations despite record high infection figures. Swiss hospitals have not been overburdened and the occupancy of intensive care units has continued to fall. This is probably due to the high level of immunity among the population thanks to vaccination and recovery from Covid-19, said the government.
In addition, Omicron is causing fewer cases of severe illness than previous virus variants. There are increasing signs that the acute crisis will soon be over and the endemic phase could begin, said the government.
The Federal Council therefore considers that the moment has come to once again ease measures designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. It has decided to lift the requirement to work from home and to quarantine with immediate effect and to launch a consultation on wide-ranging steps to ease the remaining measures.
Requirement to work from home and for contact quarantine to end
The requirement to work from home where possible is to be downgraded to a recommendation. Employers will still be required to take steps to protect their employees from infection in the workplace. Working from home remains an effective measure. The requirement to wear masks in the workplace remains.
For the first time since the pandemic began, the requirement to quarantine following contact with someone who is infected is to be lifted entirely. The Federal Council shortened the duration of contact quarantine on 12 January 2022 and limited it to people living in the same household. Due to the very high infection figures, the usefulness of contact quarantine has diminished.
However, those who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 will still be required to isolate. This is to prevent people who are highly infectious from infecting others.
There is still a need to remain cautious, according to the Federal Council. Accordingly, other existing measures will remain in place. These include Covid certificate requirements for restaurants, events and leisure and cultural venues and mask requirements on public transport, in shops and all other public indoor settings, along with restrictions on private gatherings and a permit requirement for large-scale events.