Coronavirus: Precautionary measures

Specific precautionary measures must be implemented for establishments, businesses, schools and events. As of 29 October 2020, the Federal Council has additionally adopted stricter precautionary measures and special provisions for restaurants and bars and also for events.

Precautionary measures: requirements

All publicly accessible buildings and businesses, including primary and secondary schools and other educational establishments, need to have precautionary measures in place. The same applies to public events. Private events and businesses not accessible to the public do not require precautionary measures.

In order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, it is still important to keep an appropriate distance, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and to wear a mask and erect partitions where necessary.  

The same requirements apply to all these sectors. The requirements are regulated by the Ordinance on Measures during the Special Situation to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic (Art. 4 and Annex). There are no longer any model sets of precautionary measures. However, business sectors and associations may still refer to them as an aid. Businesses and event organisers are still required to produce and put in place a set of precautionary measures. Information on precautionary measures can also be found on the SECO website (in German, French or Italian).

The following applies in all situations: People showing symptoms of illness should stay at home and get tested.

The precautionary measures must be drawn up to take into account the following requirements:

  1. They must involve hygiene considerations (e.g. possibility of washing or disinfecting hands, regular cleaning of surfaces) and observing a distance of at least 1.5 metres.
  2. They must additionally ensure that the requirements for the mandatory wearing of masks can be met.
  3. They must make it possible for people to observe the necessary distance while entering the establishment, business or event too. This does not apply for access to public transport vehicles. You will find details of the number of square metres of space required per person in the Annex to the Ordinance on Measures during the Special Situation to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic.
  4. If neither this distance can be observed nor is it possible for protective measures to be taken, the business or event organiser must record the contact details of the persons present. This will ensure that, if someone tests positive for the coronavirus, all close contacts of this person can be traced (contact tracing). Please note: This is not to be regarded as a priority measure, since it cannot prevent transmission of the coronavirus at the location. The business or event organiser must do the following:
    • Inform the persons present about the recording and purpose of the contact data
    • On request: pass the contact data onto the cantonal authorities
    • Preserve the contact data for 14 days before destroying it.
  5. A person must be named who is responsible for the implementation of the precautionary measures and who is the contact person for the cantonal authorities.

Specific information on the requirements for precautionary measures, for gathering contact data and on the number of square metres of space required per person can be found in the Annex to the Ordinance on Measures during the Special Situation to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic.

Businesses, institutions, schools and event organisers themselves are primarily responsible for implementing these precautionary measures. Neither the federal government nor the cantons approve the sets of precautionary measures. The cantons are responsible for monitoring compliance and conducting sporadic controls.

The requirements with regard to precautionary measures may change depending on the given situation. Be sure to check regularly that your precautionary measures meet the latest requirements.

Special provisions for restaurants and bars

As of 29 October 2020, the following special provisions apply for restaurants and bars, in addition to the requirements for precautionary measures:

  • Food and drink may only be consumed when seated. This applies both indoors and outdoors.
  • Businesses must close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • A maximum of 4 people are allowed to sit at one table. Exceptions apply in the case of families.
  • Company canteens may only serve people working in the company. Only pupils, teachers and other staff may eat in the school canteens and catering operations in compulsory schools.

You will find specific information on the provisions for restaurants and bars in the Ordinance on Measures during the Special Situation to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic.

Special provisions for events

As of 29 October 2020, the following special provisions apply for events, in addition to the requirements for precautionary measures:

Precautionary measures need only be drawn up for public events; they are not necessary for private ones. Please note that, since 29 October 2020, there has been a limit of 10 people at private events with friends and family.

Protecting workers: requirements

Employers are not required to draw up and implement precautionary measures provided their businesses are not accessible to the public. However, they are required to ensure their employees are protected in accordance with the ordinance. This means employers must ensure that their employees can comply with the hygiene and distancing recommendations. All employees must also wear a mask in indoor areas. You will find detailed information on this on the Masks page.

Employers must also introduce further measures applying the STOP principle (Substitution, Technical measures, Organisational measures, Personal protective equipment). These include physical separation, separate teams or the wearing of masks in outdoor areas or in vehicles.  

More information on this can be found on the SECO website (in German, French or Italian).

Recommendation to work from home

In view of the high case numbers, employees should work from home if possible. This helps reduce contacts and thus the spread of the virus.

For employees who cannot work from home, the Employment Act applies. The employer is obligated to take measures to safeguard the health of employees.

Further information

Protect yourself and others

Rules on hygiene and social distancing: keep your distance, wash your hands, cough/sneeze into a paper tissue/the crook of your arm, stay at home if you experience symptoms, recommendations on wearing masks and working from home

Last modification 06.11.2020

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We are unable to respond to enquiries related to COVID-19 in writing.

Please refer instead to our webpages, which are continuously updated.

Under Contacts and links you will find contact information for the FOPH, other federal agencies and the cantons.

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https://www.bag.admin.ch/content/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/massnahmen-des-bundes/empfehlungen-fuer-die-arbeitswelt.html