Should the situation in the hospitals worsen, tougher measures are possible. These include partial closings and a stricter mask requirement.
Places without a mask or seat requirement would have to close.
The mask requirement could apply from eight years.
The Federal Council has these and other pillars up its sleeve in the event of a worsening situation in the hospitals.
The Federal Council is not taking any tougher measures against the imminent steep increase in the number of omicron infections. The task force expects up to 2.5 million infections in January. The government justifies its cautious strategy with the fact that despite the rapidly increasing number of cases, fewer people ended up in the hospitals and on the IPS wards. However, the Federal Council reserves the right to quickly decide on further measures should the situation in the hospitals deteriorate significantly. A consultation will be held on this in the next few days.
This is not ruled out: At the peak of the Omikron wave, the task force expects up to 300 additional IPS patients and up to 10,000 additional hospitalized patients within a week in the worst case. In this case, the Federal Council still has these arrows in its quiver:
Places without a mask or seat requirement would have to close. Accordingly, restaurants, clubs, bathing establishments and fitness centers would be affected. Also, indoor cultural and sporting leisure activities would no longer be permitted where a mask cannot be worn. The Federal Council could decide on the partial closings independently of the consultation.
Capacity restrictions for major events
Large organizers would have to adhere to a certain limit for the maximum number of guests allowed. The Federal Council could also implement this measure without the blessing of the cantons.
If the cantons agree, the following tightenings are also possible:
Stricter mask requirement
The mask requirement in the interior areas of publicly accessible companies and facilities with a certificate requirement would apply from eight years. Currently, under twelve-year-olds do not have to wear a mask.
A consumption ban would be introduced in local traffic. Passengers are currently allowed to take off their masks for a small picnic.
In the case of people gathering outdoors, such as public transport stops, a mask would be required. The same applies to those waiting in ski areas and major events. In June 2021, the Federal Council lifted the mask requirement in outdoor areas. However, the public transport industry has long been calling for masks to be compulsory at bus stops.
Prohibition of classroom teaching
Classroom teaching at tertiary level would be banned. In December, the Federal Council waived this due to the upcoming semester break.
Capacity restrictions would be introduced for publicly accessible facilities and businesses as well as events and private gatherings. The private meetings are already restricted again: There is a 10-person rule, there is one unvaccinated person. The Covid Act stipulates that capacity restrictions are to be lifted as soon as the part of the population willing to be vaccinated is “sufficiently vaccinated”. The restrictions have therefore been lifted since December.
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