Coronavirus: Measures and ordinances

There are various measures, rules and bans in place on the basis of the epidemic. They all have the same goal: to contain the coronavirus. The Federal Council will adapt the national rules if necessary. In some cantons stricter rules apply.

News: Easing of measures

The Confederation’s measures to combat the coronavirus

These easements apply as of 19 April:

Overview: national rules and bans

The following overview shows the rules and bans that currently apply nationwide. In other words, these measures, at the very minimum, apply throughout Switzerland. Stricter measures may apply in certain cantons. You can find information about these in the section entitled Cantonal measures.

This overview will be adjusted as of 19 April.


Working from home compulsory: Working from home is compulsory in all areas where it is possible to work from home without disproportionate effort.

Masks compulsory indoors: If several people are working in the same room or using the lift together they must all wear a mask. This rule also applies if large distances are maintained, for example in open-plan offices. Further details can be found on the Masks page.

Protection in the workplace: Information can be found on the page Precautionary measures and on the page People at especially high risk

Private gatherings and parties

The number of people allowed to attend events among friends and family (for example gatherings and parties) is limited. The numbers include children. Recommendation: Only get together with a few households at the same time.

Rule indoors: A maximum of 10 people is allowed.
Rule outdoors: A maximum of 15 people is allowed.

These rules only apply to gatherings of family and friends. Events such as club gatherings, a meeting or event in the parish community are still prohibited.

Gatherings in public spaces

In public spaces (for example footpaths, parks and squares), gatherings of more than 15 people are forbidden.

Public events

Events are basically prohibited.


Masks must be worn in many public spaces, for example in shops, in restaurants, on public transport and in busy pedestrian zones. Further details can be found on the Masks page. The general rule of thumb applies: Always wear a mask when you are away from home and unable to maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres from other people at all times.  

Shops, markets and service businesses

Shops and service businesses: All shops may open for business again. There are no longer any restrictions on opening hours for service businesses. However, there are limits on the number of customers allowed in shops and service businesses. You will find detailed information on this in the annex to the relevant ordinance (in German, in French, in Italian).

Markets: Markets may be held both indoors and outdoors. Trade fairs, however, are still not allowed.

Restaurants and bars closed

Catering businesses are closed.

Exceptions: Canteens in companies and businesses, canteens in compulsory schools and upper secondary schools and restaurants for hotel guests may remain open. Takeaways and delivery services are permitted.  

Clubs closed

Discotheques and dance venues are closed. Dance events may not be held.

Cultural, sports and recreational facilities

  • Indoor areas that may open: Museums, libraries and reading rooms, archives, equestrian facilities, hotel facilities (e.g. spas) for hotel residents.
  • Outdoors areas that may open: All outdoor areas of recreational establishments such as zoos, botanical gardens, ice skating rinks, tennis courts and football grounds, ski areas, etc.
  • Still closed: Cinemas, casinos, fitness centres and public spa facilities.
  • Open for children and young people: Sports and cultural facilities, both indoors and outdoors, may open for activities involving people born in or after 2001. This applies, for example, to sports clubs, theatre groups, youth orchestras and youth clubs.

Children and young adults

The following applies to children and young people born in or after 2001:

  • Practices, rehearsals and training for cultural and sports activities are all permitted without restriction. Performances and competitions are also permitted provided there is no audience.
  • Singing together is permitted, also in choirs and music lessons. Concerts are allowed provided there is no audience (e.g. with video streaming).
  • Open children’s and youth activities are permitted. Youth clubs are open. However, parties and dance events are still banned.

Adults: recreational cultural activities

The following applies to adults born in 2000 or earlier:

Indoors: Recreational cultural activities may be held indoors with a maximum of 5 people provided everyone wears a mask and maintains sufficient distance.

Outdoors: Recreational cultural activities may be held outdoors with a maximum of 15 people provided everyone wears a mask or maintains sufficient distance. This rule allows, for example, rehearsals of theatre groups, but not performances in front of an audience.

Adults: singing

The following applies to adults born in 2000 or earlier: Singing is prohibited in the following situations: Almost everywhere where people sing together in a non-professional setting, e.g. in religious services, among friends, in a band and in amateur choirs. The ban applies both indoors and outdoors.

Singing is permitted in the following situations:

  • Alone or among family.
  • In one-to-one lessons.
  • For professional singers: rehearsals are basically allowed, performances only at permitted events, for example accompanying a religious service.
  • For professional choirs: rehearsals are basically allowed, performances only without an audience (e.g. with video streaming).

Adults: recreational sport

The following applies to adults born in 2000 or earlier:  

  • Contact sports are prohibited (e.g. martial arts, ice hockey, football).
  • For all other sports, outdoor training is allowed with a maximum of 15 people provided everyone maintains a distance of at least 1.5 metres or everyone wears a mask.
  • Indoor training sessions are not allowed.

Professional setting: Sport and culture

Professional competitive events and events with spectators/audience are banned. If there are no spectators/audience (e.g. for television broadcasts) they are permitted.

There are no restrictions on professional rehearsals/practice or training sessions. Wherever possible, however, the requirements pertaining to hygiene, distancing and – if distancing cannot be maintained – mask wearing must be observed. Employers are required to protect the health of athletes, dancers, actors, orchestra members, etc. 

Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Sport FOSPO (in German, in French, in Italian) and on the website of the Federal Office of Culture FOC (in German, in French, in Italian).


Compulsory schools: Face-to-face teaching is permitted. Schools must implement precautionary measures.

Upper secondary schools (e.g. baccalaureate and vocational schools): Classroom teaching is permitted. Schools must implement precautionary measures. Everyone on site must also wear a mask. There is no restriction on group size for sports tuition and this may also be held in sports halls.  

Tertiary level (e.g. universities and other higher education institutions): Face-to-face teaching is permitted only if the students absolutely need to be on site (e.g. instruction on operating a particular machine, dissection during medical studies) and if the teaching forms an essential part of the course of study. Otherwise, a switch to remote learning is required. Examinations linked to study courses or higher vocational training and the examinations necessary for obtaining an official certificate may be held on site provided that the precautionary measures are observed.

Recreational schools and courses: Face-to-face teaching is prohibited in courses for adults (born 2000 or earlier). One-to-one tuition, such as in music schools or for the skipper’s licence examination, for example, is permitted.  

Ski areas

Ski areas (e.g. transport installations with ski slopes) may only be opened if authorised by the canton. The criteria for a canton to grant authorisation include, in particular, the availability of the necessary capacity in healthcare facilities and an epidemiological situation that permits the opening of the ski areas. Operators of ski areas must implement stringent precautionary measures, including the mandatory wearing of masks in both the transport installations and the waiting areas for these installations. The closure of restaurant businesses also applies in ski areas.

You will find further information on the precautionary measures page.

Precautionary measures

All operators of publicly accessible establishments and businesses must draw up and implement precautionary measures.


Individuals must go into quarantine if they have

  • been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Details can be found on the Isolation and quarantine page.
  • travelled to Switzerland from areas with a high risk of infection. Details can be found on the Entering Switzerland page.


Anyone contravening the measures to fight the epidemic is committing an offence; persons who fail to comply with the rules may be fined between 50 and 200 francs, depending on the offence. For example, anyone who does not wear a mask on public transport, in stations, at a bus or tram stop or in and immediately outside publicly accessible buildings may be fined. A fixed penalty may also be issued to persons attending banned events or holding an unpermitted private event.  

Measures to date

Would you like to know what measures the federal government has adopted in the past? In this case you have various options:

Cantonal measures

Since June 2020, Switzerland has been in a special situation under the terms of the Federal Epidemics Act. The Federal Council determines the measures that apply throughout Switzerland. However, compared to the extraordinary situation in the spring of 2020, the cantons now have a greater say in matters. The cantons also adopt additional measures if the case numbers in their territory increase or threaten to increase. Therefore, the measures can differ from one canton to the next.

Consult the corresponding canton to find out which cantonal measures apply. Where the cantonal measures are stricter than the national measures then these must be observed. The links to information provided by the cantons can be found on the website (in German, French or Italian).

Healthcare provision

The cantons can require public and private hospitals to make capacity available to treat COVID-19 patients.

Hospitals are required to have sufficient stocks of essential medicines to treat both COVID-19 patients and those requiring other urgent medical treatment.

The federal government supports the cantons in ensuring the supply of medical goods.

The individual provisions relating to the supply of important medical goods can be found in COVID-19 Ordinance 3.

Reporting requirement for healthcare providers

The federal government coordinates the availability of hospital beds necessary for COVID-19 patients, for which it needs up-to-date information from hospitals. For example, the cantons are required to notify the Coordinated Medical Services (CMS) of how many hospital beds and intensive care spaces are occupied.


Explanatory notes

This content is not available in English. Please switch to the German, French or Italian version of this page.

Covid-19 Act

The Federal Covid-19 Act (in German, French or Italian) was passed by the Swiss parliament on 25 September 2020. It creates a legal basis allowing the Federal Council to maintain the measures resolved by emergency decree that are still necessary to manage the Covid-19 epidemic.


Communicable Diseases Legislation – Epidemics Act, (EpidA)

The Epidemics Act aims to ensure that communicable diseases are detected, monitored, prevented and controlled at an early stage and helps to better manage disease outbreaks with a high risk potential.

Informations complémentaires

Precautionary measures

For businesses/institutions, children and schools, gastronomy sector, medical practices, public transport, sport and recommendations for employers

Health insurance arrangements

Coverage of medical expenses, tariffs and financing

Communicable Diseases Legislation – Epidemics Act, (EpidA)

The Epidemics Act aims to ensure that communicable diseases are detected, monitored, prevented and controlled at an early stage and helps to better manage disease outbreaks with a high risk potential.

Easy-to-read language

Rules and prohibitions of the Federal Council, information about the corona virus, when you have to stay at home

Sign language

The rules and prohibitions of the Federal Council, information about the corona virus, when you have to stay at home

Last modification 15.04.2021

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Infoline Coronavirus
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