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.

Overview: national rules and bans

The Confederation’s measures to combat the coronavirus

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.


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

Masks compulsory indoors: Employees are also subject to the general requirement to wear a mask in publicly accessible indoor spaces (e.g. in restaurants and retail outlets). Otherwise there is no longer a general requirement to wear a mask. However, employers are still obliged to protect employees and decide where and when it is necessary to wear a mask at the workplace. You will find more information on the SECO website.

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 and businesses is limited. The numbers include children.  

Rule indoors: A maximum of 30 people is allowed.
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.


Organisers of events with up to 1,000 participants can now basically decide whether access for people from age 16 will only be permitted for those with a valid COVID certificate. Large-scale events with more than 1,000 people may only be attended by people with a valid COVID certificate. In addition, the organisers of large-scale events must obtain authorisation from the canton. You will find more information on the COVID certificate on the COVID certificate page.

For all events where COVID certificates are not mandatory, special requirements apply to the layout of the premises and the way people are placed, the wearing of masks and the consumption of food and drinks. You’ll find more information on the Precautionary measures page. 


Masks must be worn in publicly accessible indoor spaces, for example in shops, in restaurants and 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 unable to maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres from other people at all times.  

Restaurants and bars  

 The following applies to catering establishments (with the exception of canteens):

  • In indoor areas seating is compulsory.
  • In indoor areas masks may only be removed at the table.
  • A distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained between the tables or a barrier must be installed.
  • In indoor areas contact details must be collected from one person in each group of guests.

If the management of the restaurant limit access to people with a valid COVID certificate, restrictions no longer apply to guests in either indoor or outdoor areas.

Discos and dance venues

The following applies to discos and dance venues: Events where guests dance are only possible if admission is limited to people with a COVID certificate.

Cultural, sports and recreational facilities

All cultural, sports and leisure facilities may open. In indoor areas masks must be worn as per Article 6, unless the establishment or business limits access to people with a valid COVID certificate, in which case this restriction does not apply. However, there must be a set of precautionary measures setting down how access is controlled.

Sporting and cultural leisure activities

At indoor cultural and sporting activities, people’s contact data must be collected (unless everyone has a certificate) and the premises must have effective ventilation.

For competitions and performances before spectators or an audience the rules for events apply.

A distinction is no longer made between professional and amateur sportspeople or professional and amateur performers.

You will find more information on the Federal Office of Sport FOS website and the Federal Office of Culture FOC website.


Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools (e.g. baccalaureate and vocational schools): Measures for compulsory schools and upper secondary schools (for example requiring the wearing of masks) are the responsibility of the cantons.

Tertiary level (e.g. universities and other higher education institutions) and recreational courses: Classroom teaching is permitted. The only requirement is compulsory mask-wearing in accordance with Article 6 and the requirement to have a set of precautionary measures.

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 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 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:

Future measures: three-phase model

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

Future measures for events

It will only be possible to lift all the restrictions on events once we have reached the normalisation phase. This will be when everyone who wants to and can be is fully vaccinated.


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 25.06.2021

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