Coronavirus: Precautionary measures

Precautionary measures are designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. For this reason, establishments, businesses, schools and , event organisers must implement specific precautionary measures.

Precautionary measures: requirements

All publicly accessible establishments and businesses that are permitted to open require a precautionary measures plan.

In order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading again, 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 of the economy. The requirements are regulated by the COVID-19 Special Situation Ordinance (Art. 10 and Annex). There are no longer any model precautionary measures plans. However, business sectors and associations may still refer to them as an aid. Businesses are still required to produce and put in place a precautionary measures plan. Information on precautionary measures can also be found on the SECO website (in GermanFrench or Italian).

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

The precautionary measures for establishments without a COVID certificate requirement must be drawn up to take into account the following requirements:

1.     They must provide for measures governing hygiene (e.g. possibility of washing or disinfecting hands, regular cleaning of surfaces) and maintaining 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 (particularly in publicly accessible indoor areas of establishments and businesses).

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 vehicles.

4.     If masks cannot be worn, the requisite distance cannot be maintained and no effective precautionary measures are in place, for example suitable partitions, operators must collect contact data from those present.

In certain settings contact data must always be recorded (restaurant-type establishments, indoor sporting and cultural activitiesnightclubs without a COVID certificate requirement). 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. When recording contact details the business 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.

Precautionary measures for establishments with a COVID certificate requirement must include measures to assure hygiene (e.g. the possibility of washing or disinfecting hands, regular cleaning of surfaces) and implement restrictions on access (e.g. performing access controls or informing visitors of the need for a certificate).

Specific information on the requirements for precautionary measures can be found in Annex 1 to the COVID-19 Special Situation Ordinance.

The establishments, businesses and organisers themselves are primarily responsible for implementing these precautionary measures. Neither the federal government nor the cantons approve precautionary measures plans; the precautionary measures are only checked as part of the approval process for large-scale events. The cantons are responsible for monitoring compliance and for conducting inspections.

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

Special provisions for restaurants, bars and canteens

In addition to the precautionary measures requirements, the following special regulations apply to restaurants and bars:

In indoor and outdoor areas with a COVID certificate requirement

There are no longer any restrictions. However, precautionary measures governing hygiene and access restrictions must be implemented.

In outdoor areas without a COVID certificate requirement

In outdoor areas, a distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained between tables, or a barrier must be erected.

Canteens can only serve people who work in the company or organisation. People must be seated and everyone present must comply with physical distancing. The same precautionary measures apply to soup kitchens and catering establishments in transit areas of airports.

Specific information on the regulations for catering establishments can be found in Art. 12 of the COVID-19 Special Situation Ordinance.

Special provisions for events

Events accessible without a COVID certificate (no large-scale events)

At events where there is no COVID certificate requirement the following applies:  


  • Maximum two-thirds capacity
  • Maximum of 1,000 people at events with compulsory seating
  • Maximum of 500 guests at events without compulsory seating
  • No dance events


  • Maximum 30 people
  • The event must be attended by members of a club or society or other unchanging group whose members are known to the organiser
  • Maximum two-thirds capacity
  • The mask-wearing requirement is based on Article 6. Physical distancing should also be complied with where possible.
  • No eating or drinking.

Events accessible with a COVID certificate (including large-scale events)

There are no restrictions. However, precautionary measures governing hygiene and access restrictions must be implemented.

You will find the specific requirements for events in the articles of the COVID-19 Special Situation Ordinance specified below:

  • Events indoors where access is not limited to people with a certificate: Art. 14
  • Events outdoors where access is not limited to people with a certificate: Art. 14a
  • Large-scale events: Articles 16 and 17
  • Trade fairs and consumer fairs: Art. 18
  • Events in the political sphere: Art. 19

Precautionary measures must be formulated and implemented for public events. No precautionary measures are required for private events among family and friends that do not take place in publicly accessible establishments. Note: the following limits apply to private events involving friends and family: a maximum of 30 people indoors and a maximum of 50 people outdoors.  

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.

Employers must also introduce further measures applying the STOP principle (Substitution, Technical measures, Organisational measures, Personal protective equipment). These include physical separation, separate teams, regular airing/ventilation or the wearing of masks. Employers now have the option of requesting that employees show a COVID certificate and of using this information to ensure adequate protection.  

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

Further information

Protect yourself and others

Rules on hygiene and social distancing: get vaccinated, 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 13.09.2021

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Infoline Coronavirus
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