Swiss Expand Use of Certificates, Urge WFH to Curb Covid
(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss government expanded the use of certificates and masks to stem the tide of coronavirus infections less than a week after citizens backed previous measures in a referendum.
All indoor public events will require a Covid certificate, which shows that the holder has been vaccinated, recovered from or tested negative for the coronavirus, the government said Friday. Public institutions and event organizers can exclude the unvaccinated.
A proposal to make working from home mandatory for all, or at least the unvaccinated, failed to win support. Instead, the government is urging people to work from home and said those in offices will need to wear masks.
The Swiss have generally taken a more laissez-faire approach than their neighbors to managing the pandemic, including keeping schools mostly open and allowing ski resorts to continue operating. Germany earlier this week imposed stringent nationwide restrictions on people who aren’t vaccinated and paved the way to making shots compulsory.
Switzerland still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe. Infection numbers are surging and hospitals are filling up. At least three people have tested positive for the omicron variant.
The measures are to remain in place until Jan. 24.
Theaters and restaurants already required the use of a pass showing the bearer has been vaccinated against, tested negative for or recovered from Covid-19.
Voters backed the continued use of the corona certificates in a vote on Sunday in what was regarded as a broader referendum on the government’s approach to handling the crisis. The majority failed to be swayed by vociferous skeptics, who argued the passes infringed upon civil liberties and wanted the government to scupper social distancing restrictions generally.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.