Swiss lift most COVID-19 restrictions as infections decline

February 16, 2022 GMT

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland on Wednesday became the latest European country to ease coronavirus restrictions, including ending health checks for incoming travelers and the need to have COVID-19 passes to enter many public venues.

The Federal Council, the seven-member Swiss executive branch, said as of Thursday, masks and COVID-19 vaccination passes will no longer be required to enter shops, restaurants, cultural venues and other public settings and events. The requirement to wear masks in workplaces and a work-from-home recommendation will also end, as will capacity limits on large-scale gatherings.

The only requirements that will remain are an order for any person who tests positive to isolate and mandatory mask-wearing on public transportation and in health care institutions.

“The epidemiological situation continues to develop positively,” the government said. “Thanks to the high level of immunity among the population, it is unlikely that the health care system will be overburdened despite the continued high level of virus circulation.”

Health authorities in the country of about 8.5 million people reported more than 21,000 new daily COVID-19 casesand 10 new deaths. The trend has steadily fallen since a 7-day average of more than 36,000 cases a day was tallied in late January.

Incoming travelers will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test, or complete an entry form.

The measures also will mean an end to the government’s economic support for business hit hard by the pandemic.


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