September 8, 2021
By Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi
ZURICH (Reuters) -Switzerland will require people from Monday to show a COVID-status certificate to access indoor spaces like restaurants, the government said, while previewing potential travel restrictions as it tries to quash a fourth wave of infections that is straining hospitals.
The Swiss COVID certificate provides proof of vaccination, recovery from infection or a negative test result.
“The situation remains unstable with more than 3,500 cases today,” Health Minister Alain Berset told a news conference in Bern on Wednesday.
“The alternative is to close everything, and we will do our utmost to avoid that.”
The government last week had held fire on the move — set to last into January 2022 — amid a sharp public debate over whether it was going too far to infringe individuals’ liberty.
“The situation in hospitals remains strained,” the cabinet said, noting the number of people who had not been vaccinated was still too high and some hospitals were now postponing operations due to high occupancy levels.
The number of new infections https://ift.tt/2WpTAAZ in Switzerland and tiny neighbour Liechtenstein has picked up again to become the highest incidence rate in continental Europe, health officials said on Tuesday.
More than 800,000 have contracted the respiratory disease since the pandemic began. The death toll has exceeded 10,500.
Just over half the Swiss population has been fully vaccinated, lagging the rate in other European countries as the government urges more people to get the jab.
The government said it was considering new travel restrictions ahead of autumn school holidays, which would impose measures on individuals who had not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.
In one idea under consultation, unvaccinated individuals who cannot provide proof of recovery from the virus would need to quarantine for 10 days, with the possibility to shorten the quarantine to seven days through a negative test result.
In another version, such individuals would need to take a COVID-19 test four to seven days after their arrival.
Both ideas would require individuals to provide a negative test result in order to enter the country, regardless of where they were arriving from or by which mode of transit.
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by Kirsti Knolle)
Source Link Swiss cabinet tightens coronavirus curbs to protect hospitals