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.

If you want to continue to protect yourself, you can follow these basic principles:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a face mask
  • Ventilate several times a day
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm
  • Wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly
  • Support for those with long COVID, concerns or suffering loneliness

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: Respiratory 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: Avoid close and protracted contact and large gatherings, and maintain a sufficient distance from others.
  • 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 feel unwell, stay at home. If you have symptoms, it may be a good idea to get tested, especially if you are at especially high risk. The costs of the test are covered by the federal government.

  • Social contact: You should avoid or reduce social contact, especially with people at especially high risk. Wearing a mask when out and about is also a good idea.
  • Work: If you 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.
  • Contact with people at especially high risk: If you would like to visit someone (e.g. in a hospital or care home), consider postponing the visit and find out in advance about the visitor regulations in place.
  • General: Follow the basic principles.

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: If you have contact with people at especially high risk, it is wise to let them know about your positive test result as soon as possible.
  • If you are sick: If you feel unwell, you should stay at home and avoid or reduce contact, especially with people at especially high risk.
  • High-risk group: If you belong to the especially high-risk group, consider contacting your medical specialist so that they can evaluate early COVID-19 treatment.
  • Mask: Wearing a mask when out and about is a good idea.
  • Work: If you 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.
  • General: Follow the basic principles.

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: Follow the basic principles. Reduce contact with others for a few days if possible, especially with people at especially high risk.

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. However, they can attend school or day-care if they feel well enough.
  • In general: Minimise contact with people at especially high risk.

Basic principles

Vaccination

Get vaccinated

We recommend that you get vaccinated against coronavirus. Vaccination offers the best protection against catching and spreading COVID-19, or suffering from long-term consequences.

Visit the Vaccination page for more reasons to get your COVID-19 jab and much more information on the topic.


Keep your distance.

Wear a face mask

You can continue to wear a mask if you want to. 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.


Lüften

Ventilate several times a day

Ventilating indoor spaces helps remove air that contains virus particles and reduces the risk of transmission.
We therefore recommend you ventilate indoor spaces several times a day, particularly spaces where people from different households congregate. Temperature permitting, it is a good idea to leave windows open for extended periods.


 Wash your hands thoroughly.

Wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly

You can protect yourself and others from infection by washing or sanitising your hands regularly.
You should also wash your hands every time you come home, when you have touched objects or surfaces that have also been touched frequently by other people, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food.


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.
  • Wash your hands afterwards every time you cough, sneeze, spit or blow your nose.
  • Use a paper tissue, and use it only once, then dispose of it.

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 04.05.2022

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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