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, as well as events, 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 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 ventilation.

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.     Measures relating to maintaining distance, unless access for people over age 16 is restricted to those with a certificate. The precautionary measures 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 (nightclubs, events in indoor areas without a certificate requirement, and indoor sporting and cultural activities where masks are not worn). This will ensure that, if someone tests positive for the coronavirus, all close contacts of this person can be traced (contact tracing). The following data must be recorded: last and first name, place of residence and phone number. 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 publicly accessible facilities and businesses, including educational establishments, and the organisers of events with a COVID certificate requirement must also include measures to 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 areas with a COVID certificate requirement

Operators must restrict access to indoor areas to people with a vaccination or recovery certificate (2G). Operators must ensure the premises are aired properly. Guests must be seated and wear a mask when not at their seat, unless access is restricted to people with a vaccination or recovery certificate who also have a certificate for a negative test result (2G+).

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. If access is restricted (e.g. 3G), these rules do not apply.

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

Precautionary measures must be formulated and implemented for public events. No precautionary measures are required for private events among family and friends which do not take place in publicly accessible establishments. Note: The following limits apply to private events involving friends and family: maximum of 30 (under 2G) or 10 people indoors and a maximum of 50 people outdoors.

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

  • Events outdoors where access is or is not limited to people with a certificate: Art. 14
  • Events: Art. 15
  • Large-scale events: Article 16
  • Trade fairs and consumer fairs: Art. 18
  • Events in the political sphere: Art. 19


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 and the mask-wearing requirement indoors.

Employers must make sure that their employees can meet their work obligations from home wherever the type of work allows and it is possible for them to do so with proportionate effort. Employers must take appropriate organisational and technical measures. 

Employers must also introduce further measures applying the STOP principle (Substitution, Technical measures, Organisational measures, Personal protective equipment). These include, for example, physical separation, separate teams or regular airing/ventilation. 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, rules on wearing masks and working from home

Last modification 22.12.2021

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Infoline Coronavirus
Tel. +41 58 463 00 00

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