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.


The Confederation’s measures to combat the coronavirus

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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.

Work

Working from home: Working from home is mandatory. Employers must take appropriate organisational and technical measures to enable homeworking.

COVID certificate: Employers may check whether their employees are vaccinated or recovered or have a certificate for a negative test result (3G) if this is necessary for deciding on appropriate precautionary measures or for implementing testing concepts. The information on immunity status or the test result may not be used for any other purpose. Employees must be consulted on the use of the certificate and the measures derived from this, and these must be documented in writing. On data protection grounds, employers must use the “light certificate” with minimised data wherever possible.

Masks compulsory indoors: Masks are compulsory for all employees in indoor areas where several people are present. Exceptions apply in situations where a mask cannot be worn for safety reasons or owing to the nature of the activity as well as to people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. In particular, there is no exception to the mask-wearing requirement if it is an establishment in which employees meet the 2G+ requirements (vaccinated/recovered within last 4 months or vaccinated/recovered with negative test).

Protection in the workplace: Information can be found (in German, French and Italian) 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) that are not held in publicly accessible establishments is limited. The numbers include children.  

Rule indoors without certificate: A maximum of 30 people is allowed if everyone is vaccinated or recovered. As soon as one person is present who is not vaccinated or recovered and is aged over 16, only up to 10 people may gather.

Rule outdoors: A maximum of 50 people is allowed.

The FOPH’s recommendations on hygiene and distancing have to be observed.

Private events in public establishments: The rules of the establishment in question on events apply.


Events

Indoors

Access to indoor events for people aged 16 and over is basically restricted to people who are vaccinated or recovered (2G).

Exempt from this COVID certificate requirement are:

  • Religious ceremonies, funerals, events that fall within the scope of the normal activities and services of public authorities, political events and self-help groups with up to 50 people. For these indoor events, masks must be worn, the consumption of food and drinks is banned, and contact details must be collected.
  • Blood donation campaigns are not considered events and are therefore not subject to the COVID certificate requirement. The current precautionary measures continue to apply to these campaigns.

Basically masks must be worn for all events indoors. Where neither wearing masks nor compulsory seating is possible, only vaccinated or recovered people who can present a certificate for a negative test result (2G+) are admitted.

You will find more detailed information on the various areas of application of the COVID certificate and the exceptions on the Use of the COVID certificate page.

Outdoors

At outdoor events, access for people aged 16 and over is also restricted to people who are vaccinated or recovered (2G). The organiser can voluntarily limit access to vaccinated or recovered people who also have a certificate for a negative test result (2G+).Access restrictions can be waived if not more than 300 people are admitted and guests do not dance. Precise details may be found on the Precautionary measures page.


Trade fairs and consumer shows

If trade fairs and consumer shows are not held exclusively outdoors, access for people aged 16 and over must be limited to those who are vaccinated or recovered (2G).

The organisers of trade fairs and consumer shows must also draw up and implement a set of precautionary measures. If more than 1,000 people are present each day, authorisation must be obtained from the canton.

For the mask-wearing requirement to be waived, the organiser can voluntarily limit access to vaccinated or recovered people who also have a certificate for a negative test result (2G+).


Masks

Masks must be worn in publicly accessible indoor spaces, for example in shops or in enclosed areas of public vehicles. Further details can be found on the Masks page. The general rule of thumb applies: Always wear a mask indoors when you are away from home and you are unable to maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres from other people at all times.


Restaurants, bars and clubs 

For people aged 16 and over, access to the indoor areas of restaurants, bars and clubs where people consume food and drinks on the premises must be restricted to who are vaccinated or recovered (2G).. Operators must also ensure the premises are aired properly.

In restaurants, bars and clubs that limit access to 2G (vaccinated or recovered), guests may only remove their mask at the table and consume while seated.

In restaurants, bars and clubs that limit access to 2G+ (vaccinated/recovered within last 4 months or vaccinated/recovered with negative test), neither the requirement to be seated nor the requirement to wear a mask applies to guests.

For outdoor areas, operators are free to decide whether they wish to impose access restrictions or not. If an operator does not restrict access to outdoor areas, either the requisite distance of 1.5 m must be maintained between guest groups or a barrier must be installed.

The abovementioned rules also apply to hotel restaurants (but not to the overnight hotel stay alone). No access restrictions apply for street vendors, company canteens and restaurants in airport transit zones that are only accessible to passengers with tickets.

The operators of catering businesses in these areas must put in place precautionary measures that are suitably tailored to the specific situation.


Nightclubs and dance venues

The following applies to nightclubs and dance venues: Events where guests dance are only possible if admission is limited to vaccinated or recovered people who also have a certificate for a negative test result (2G+). Guests’ contact details must also be collected.

You will find more detailed information on the various areas of application of the COVID certificate and the exceptions on the Use of the COVID certificate page.


Cultural, sports and recreational facilities

If visitors are not confined to outdoor areas, access for people aged 16 and over must be restricted to vaccinated or recovered people (2G).

This applies to the following, among others:

  • museums
  • concerts
  • theatres
  • cinemas
  • libraries (it is still possible to collect ordered/reserved books without a certificate)
  • fitness centres
  • zoos (if visitors can move between indoor and outdoor areas)

Basically masks must be worn in indoor areas.

Facilities have the option of restricting access to those with a vaccination or recovery certificate and thus dispense with the requirement to wear a mask in indoor areas, e.g. indoor swimming pools, water parks and thermal baths.

You will find more detailed information on the various areas of application of the COVID certificate and the exceptions on the Use of the COVID certificate page.

Entry checks with the COVID certificate

When letting people in, it is important that event organisers check the validity of the COVID certificate via COVID Certificate Check and always check against matching photo identification (e.g. ID card, passport, driving licence, residence permit, student card). In addition, organisers of large-scale events must obtain a cantonal permit. The COVID certificate is the only permissible document for entry. This applies to both the Swiss COVID certificate and to recognised foreign certificates (e.g. the EU Digital COVID Certificate). You’ll find more information for checkers and issuers on the COVID certificate on the corresponding page.  


Cultural and sporting leisure activities

For indoor cultural and sporting activities, access for people aged 16 and over must be restricted to those who are vaccinated or recovered (2G) (the people required to have a certificate also include those leading a group). In addition, the premises must have effective ventilation.

For activities where masks cannot be worn (e.g. wind and brass band rehearsals), access for people aged 16 and over must be restricted to those who have a vaccination or recovery certificate as well as a certificate for a negative test result (2G+).

For outdoor sports and cultural activities, there is no obligation to restrict access, to wear a facemask or to maintain the required distance.

You will find more detailed information on the various areas of application of the COVID certificate and the exceptions on the Use of the COVID certificate page.


Schools

Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools (e.g. baccalaureate and vocational schools): Masks must be worn in indoor areas of upper secondary schools. All other measures for compulsory schools and upper secondary schools are the responsibility of the cantons.

Tertiary level (e.g. universities, universities of applied sciences and colleges of higher education) and continuing education: Access to certain educational offerings and exams in this area is limited to people who are vaccinated or recovered or have a certificate for a negative test result (3G). Masks must be worn. You will find further details in the explanatory notes to Art. 19a of the Ordinance on Measures during the Special Situation to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic.

Recreational courses: The rules for events apply, i.e. basically the mask and certificate requirement (vaccinated or recovered, 2G) in indoor areas.


Precautionary measures

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



Quarantine

People who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive must go into quarantine.

Details and exceptions can be found on the Isolation and quarantine and Entering Switzerland page.


Penalties

Certain violations of measures to combat the epidemic are explicitly listed as criminal offences and can in some cases be punished with fixed penalties (fines) of between 50 and 200 francs, depending on the offence. For example, anyone who does not wear a mask in the enclosed areas of public vehicles, in enclosed railway stations and in publicly accessible buildings may be fined. A fixed penalty may also be issued to persons attending banned events or breaching the requirement for a certificate.  

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:

Future measures: three-phase model

According to the Swiss Federal Council’s three-phase model we are currently at the normalisation phase.

Future measures will be based on the epidemiological situation and Switzerland’s overall strategy for managing the epidemic. The Swiss Federal Council has defined a three-phase model outlining the strategic approach up to the exit from the COVID-19 crisis against the backdrop of increasing vaccination coverage and the introduction of broad and repetitive testing.

You will find more information on the strategy for managing COVID-19 on the Situation in Switzerland site.

 

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 www.ch.ch (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.

Ordinances




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.

Legislation

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 20.01.2022

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