Coronavirus: Protect yourself and others

Now that the measures and restrictions have been lifted, individual responsibility is becoming more important. How we protect ourselves and others now depends on our own behaviour.

Want to continue to protect yourself and others? Follow these basic principles:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a face mask
  • Keep your distance
  • Ventilate several times a day
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm
  • Wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly

What can you do if you are at especially high risk or want to take extra precautions?

In addition to the basic principles mentioned above, you can:

  • Keep an eye on your state of health: Monitor your state of health and get tested if you have symptoms.
  • Wear a mask: Masks, and in particular filtering face piece masks (such as FFP2 masks) can be a good idea in rooms or situations where there is a higher risk of transmission (e.g. enclosed and poorly-ventilated spaces, gatherings, public transport).
  • Keep your distance: Reduce close and protracted contact and large gatherings. As far as possible, maintain a sufficient distance from other people.
  • Work: If you work, clarify with your employer what precautionary measures apply in the workplace.

You have symptoms of coronavirus. What should you do?

If you have symptoms, get tested – particularly if you are at especially high risk or have close, regular contact with people at especially high risk. The federal government will cover the costs of the test.

  • Social contact: In the event of symptoms of illness, please keep your distance from other people. Wear a mask, above all if you come into contact with people at especially high risk. Or stay at home if possible.
  • Work: Talk to your employer about your working arrangements, the necessary precautionary measures and whether you need to provide a medical certificate and by when.

You can find out about the symptoms of COVID-19 on the page Disease, symptoms, treatment. Further information on testing can be found on the page Tests.

You have tested positive. What should you do?

  • Inform others about your test result: Have you had contact with other people? Then let them know about your positive test result. This applies above all if you have contact with people at especially high risk.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19: If you experience symptoms of illness, you should avoid contact with other people, especially those at especially high risk, and stay at home. If this is not possible, keep your distance from others and wear a mask.
  • If you have no symptoms of COVID-19: It is wise to wear a mask and keep your distance in this situation whenever you come into contact with others and especially when you have contact with people at especially high risk.
  • High-risk group: If you belong to the especially high-risk group, contact your medical specialist so that they can evaluate early COVID-19 treatment.
  • Work: Talk to your employer about your working arrangements, the necessary measures (for example working from home or in an office on your own, social distancing, wearing a mask) and whether you need to provide a medical certificate and by when.

You have had contact with someone who has tested positive. What should you do?

  • Test: People at especially high risk should get tested. In general, everyone can get tested after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • In general: It may be wise to wear a mask and to temporarily reduce contact with people at especially high risk. Follow the basic principles.

Your child has symptoms of COVID-19. What should you do?

  • Test: In general, testing is not recommended for children.
  • If they have pre-existing conditions: If your child has a chronic illness, severe symptoms or is an infant, it is advisable to seek advice from your paediatrician or GP, who will decide on treatment and whether a test is necessary.
  • If they are sick: If your child has a high temperature, they should not attend school or day-care until it has passed. Please observe any existing school-specific regulations.
  • In general: Minimise contact with people at especially high risk.

Basic principles

By observing the following basic principles individually or in combination, you can reduce the risk of an infection with the coronavirus and also protect others. What makes sense depends greatly on where you are (e.g. on public transport or at work). The risk of being infected with the coronavirus and other respiratory pathogens is greatest in indoor areas with many people in attendance (see also Protection against flu). In such cases, a combination of wearing a mask and, if possible, regular ventilation may therefore be wise.

Vaccination

Get vaccinated

We strongly recommend that all people at especially high risk get a booster vaccination in autumn 2022. All other people aged 16 and over can also get a booster vaccination. This includes, in particular, healthcare professionals and carers of people at especially high risk.

All information on the booster vaccination in autumn 2022 can be found on the Vaccination page.


Keep your distance.

Wear a face mask

You can continue to wear a mask if you want to. As the coronavirus is transmitted via droplets and aerosols, masks protect you and others from infection. If you have contact with people at especially high risk, it is a good idea to wear a mask.


Abstand halten

Keep your distance

The risk of infection is increased when you are in close contact with others. This is because, when speaking or breathing more for example, people release more droplets and aerosols into their direct surroundings. By keeping your distance from others, you can reduce the risk of infection.


Lüften

Ventilate several times a day

Ventilating reduces the concentration of coronaviruses in indoor spaces and thus the risk of transmission.
Indoor spaces where people from different households congregate should therefore be ventilated particularly well and regularly. Temperature permitting, it is a good idea to leave windows open for extended periods.


Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm

Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm

Viruses can be spread by blowing your nose, sneezing, spitting and coughing. You should therefore stick to the following to reduce or avoid the risk of transmission.

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, or if you don’t have a tissue, into the crook of your arm.
  • Use a paper tissue, and use it only once, then dispose of it. Then wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands if necessary.

 Wash your hands thoroughly.

Wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly

Wash your hands regularly or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. This way you can also protect yourself and others from infection against a variety of other pathogens (e.g. flu pathogens) that can trigger a cold or cough.

Wash your hands whenever you

  • come home
  • have touched objects or surfaces that have also been touched frequently by other people
  • have blown your nose, coughed or sneezed
  • are about to prepare food or eat.

Note: The temperature of the water has no influence on the reduction of the number of viruses on the skin. The water can therefore be cold or lukewarm. What is more important is how and for how long you wash your hands. This means you should soap all areas of your hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds (including thumbs, spaces between fingers, backs of hands and fingernails).


Contact points for those with long COVID, concerns or suffering loneliness

If you’re suffering from the long-terms effects of COVID-19, you’ll find more information here:

  • Long COVID Switzerland (in German only)
  • Altea Network (in German, French and Italian only)
  • Verband Covid Langzeitfolgen (long COVID association; in German only)
  • RAFAEL, la plateforme d’information Post-COVID (post-COVID information, in French only)

If you need someone to talk to, you can find competent listeners for a supportive conversation from the following.

Free of charge and always available:

  • Die Dargebotene Hand, telephone (counselling in German, French or Italian only) at 143 (also via e-mail or chat)
  • Pro Juventute advice for parents: phone 058 261 61 61 (also via e-mail or chat)
  • Pro Juventute child helpline at 147
  • Elternnotruf: phone 0848 35 45 55 (counselling in German, French, Italian and English)

At the normal rates and at selected times:

Or visit dureschnufe.ch (available in German only). Here, you can find tips and help on issues such as family and loneliness, problems at home, financial concerns, etc. Under 10 steps for mental health, you are provided with tips on what you can do yourself to boost your well-being.

Worry, loneliness and stress can lead to increased consumption of alcohol, prescription drugs and other substances. At www.safezone.ch (in German, in French or Italian) you can get online advice on addiction and substance abuse issues, anonymously if you desire.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to frequently asked questions concerning infection and risks can be found here.

Documents

downloads

Downloads in various languages

Information campaign ‘Protect yourself and others’: posters, videos and instructions in different languages, incl. those of Switzerland’s migrant population

Further information

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Last modification 04.11.2022

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Contact

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

Print contact

https://www.bag.admin.ch/content/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/so-schuetzen-wir-uns.html