New coronavirus: new measures, rapid tests and change to travel quarantine

28.10.2020 – On 28 October 2020 the Federal Council took further measures to combat the rapid spread of the new coronavirus. It also adjusted the rules on quarantine for travellers and decided to introduce rapid tests.

Case numbers and hospitalisation are increasing dramatically. The Federal Council wants to curb the spread of Covid-19 infection and prevent intensive care units and hospital healthcare staff from being put under too much strain. To this end, on 28 October 2020 it took measures to reduce the number of contacts between people.

The following measures apply from 29 October

  • Discos and nightclubs will be closed.
  • No more than four people will be allowed to sit at a table in restaurants and bars, with the exception of families with children. All bars and restaurants must close between 11pm and 6am.
  • Events with more than 50 people are no longer allowed. There are exceptions for meetings of parliaments and municipal assemblies, political demonstrations and petitions (collecting signatures) where precautionary measures are in place.
  • Events with more than 10 people are no longer permitted on private premises.
  • Higher education institutions will have to switch to distance learning from Monday, 2 November. Classroom teaching is still permitted at compulsory school level and at upper secondary schools (baccalaureate and vocational schools).
  • Recreational sporting and cultural activities with more than 15 people are banned. Exceptions have been defined for professional activities and those for children.
  • Performances by amateur choirs are prohibited, although professional choirs may continue to practise.
  • The requirement to wear a mask is being extended further.
  • Employers must as far as possible allow homeworking and make sure staff are protected in the workplace.

You will find details of the measures and the mask-wearing requirement in the media release and on the Measures and Ordinances page.

Rapid tests possible from 2 November

From 2 November 2020 it will also be possible to use rapid antigen tests to detect Covid-19 infection. This will enable broader and quicker testing of members of the public. It will be possible to rapidly detect and isolate more positive cases among the population.

You will find more information on rapid tests in the media release and on the New Coronavirus: Tests page.

New threshold for travel quarantine

The number of positive tests per 100,000 head of population (incidence) in Switzerland is higher than the European average. For this reason the Federal Council has modified the quarantine rules for travellers. The change enters into force on 29 October 2020. Now only countries and areas where the incidence is more than 60 higher than in Switzerland will be put on the quarantine list.

You will find all the changes to the travel quarantine rules in the media release and on the Information for travellers page.

Campaign changed to Red

With the measures that have been decided, the Protect Yourself and Others campaign now changes to Red. The familiar social distancing and hygiene rules continue to apply. You can download and print out the current campaign material and visuals from  

Last modification 28.10.2020

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