Switzerland announced on Sunday a series of measures including a mask mandate to curb the spread of Covid-19, to go into effect on Monday.
According to a government press release, the Swiss Federal Council introduced national measures such as a mandate to wear masks in publicly-accessible indoor areas.
Masks were required on public transport for those over the age of 12 since early July, but the additional measures will require masks at publicly accessible public transport areas such as railway stations (including platforms), airports, bus stops and tram stops as well. Masks are now also required in indoor spaces like shops, post offices, banks, museums, libraries, sports facilities, restaurants and other publicly accessibly spaces.
Masks are also required in schools, higher education institutes and child-care facilities.
The government also banned spontaneous public gatherings of more than 15 people in public places such as town squares, streets, paths and parks. Organized outdoor events such as demonstrations however, are allowed provided precautionary measures are followed. For private events of more than 15 people, food and drink should only being consumed when seated, and anyone standing up must wear a mask. For private events, hygiene rules need to be followed and contact details for those in attendance must be recorded.
“The rapid rise in coronavirus cases in the last few days is a cause for great concern,” the government said, pointing to the rising number of cases and number of hospitalizations.
“Since 19 June, the cantons have played the lead role in combating the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland,” the press release added, “The Confederation still expects the cantons to conduct widespread testing, implement a sound system of contract tracing and employ targeted measures to help fight the epidemic.”