Coronavirus in Switzerland

Old Feb 28th, 2020, 12:51 AM
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Coronavirus in Switzerland

Feb. 28: 10.50 am

The latest update in full:

Current situation in Switzerland

In view of the current situation and the spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Council has categorised the situation in Switzerland as ‘particular’ in terms of the Epidemics Act. Large-scale events involving more than 1000 people are to be banned. The ban comes into immediate effect and will apply at least until 15 March 2020.
The Federal Council is responding to the latest developments in the coronavirus epidemic and has categorised the situation in Switzerland as ‘particular’ in terms of the Epidemics Act. This enables the Federal Council, in consultation with the cantons, to order measures that are normally the responsibility of the cantons.

In Switzerland, infections with the new coronavirus have confirmed in fifteen cases. There have been reports of diseases from the cantons: Ticino, Geneva, Grisons, Aargau, Zurich, Basel-City and Vaud. All persons have been infected abroad. Their health condition is good. All those who are ill are isolated.The public health authorities are contacting people who have been in close contact with the person infected.
More than 500 people in Switzerland have so far been tested for the new coronavirus. Nose and throat swabs were taken and sent to laboratories for screening. A number of people are in quarantine in their canton of residence. They must stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
The federal government, the cantons and healthcare providers are prepared.
  • Testing for the new coronavirus has been intensified in people presenting flu-like symptoms.
  • More staff are operating the hotline in all national languages.
  • Travellers and cross-border commuters are being provided with advice at the border and at airports on what to do if symptoms appear (shortness of breath, cough or high temperature).
The federal government is working closely with the cantonal health authorities with regard to all measures.
No travel restrictions for entry into Switzerland

There are no travel restrictions for entry into Switzerland. Travellers and cross-border commuters will be updated on the current situation at the border and at airports.
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Old Feb 28th, 2020, 04:10 PM
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Crap. There goes my happy planning state.
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Old Feb 28th, 2020, 07:02 PM
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Geneva motor show cancelled as Switzerland bans large events

Ruling to prevent coronavirus spread covers events likely to attract more than 1,000 people.

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 28th, 2020 at 07:05 PM.
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Old Feb 28th, 2020, 11:50 PM
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For me, the cancellation of the Basler Fasnacht is much more important than that of the Salon de l'Auto
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Old Feb 29th, 2020, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
For me, the cancellation of the Basler Fasnacht is much more important than that of the Salon de l'Auto
Here in Basel, most people feel the same but there is informal talk of trying to put on some version in April if things calm down with the virus. There is also some envy of Lucerne and Solothurn for having earlier celebrations.

Monday is still a day off for us; I took the whole week off. A friend and I are getting up extra early Tuesday and daytripping to Guarda and Scuol.
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Old Mar 1st, 2020, 02:03 AM
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Another update by the Swiss government (translated by a fellow expat and google)

In case you or anyone else missed it, this was the advice given by Danial Koch in yesterday's press meeting..
If you want to translate the rest of the meeting or watch it for yourself, it's here...

"Don't turn your life upside down"
The Confederation appeals to the population: younger people with a cold should not run for the emergency. Otherwise the corona tests could become scarce.

The Swiss authorities are not planning any new massive measures such as border or school closures in connection with the coronavirus, at least not for the next few days. The next step will be a further information offensive at the beginning of next week.

This will involve written recommendations to the population as to what more they can do to protect themselves as far as possible against infection or transmission of the Covid-19 virus, as Daniel Koch, Head of Communicable Diseases at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), told the media on Saturday.

He also said that the population should remain calm over the weekend and not turn their entire way of life upside down. He said that the aim was to conserve resources and not to overburden hospital emergencies with minor cases.

Border closures are not an option at the moment, because they would not help and would also prevent many border crossers from working in hospitals and medical practices, Koch said. He also said that it did not make sense to close schools at the moment, as it has been proven that it is mainly people over 60 who are most at risk. Children are not the main carriers of the virus.

Situation in Italy "alarming

However, the situation in Italy is "worrying", given the 885 confirmed cases and 21 deaths to date, a large number of unreported cases must be assumed. For Switzerland, this means that it is on the verge of the situation getting "out of control" and that the pathways of infection can no longer be traced in every case.

"We will not be able to completely test and isolate every case that coughs over a long period of time," said Koch. In future, the focus will have to be on the severe cases. A great deal of self-discipline and self-responsibility is therefore required of the mild cases.

It is also important not to push the laboratory staff to the limit "before we need to". The products for the laboratory tests are slowly becoming scarce and should not be "burned up" with light cases.

In Switzerland, however, the number of confirmed cases is currently unchanged at 13. According to Koch, all of them were infected in Italy. There are indications that the 5 suspected cases still open could have been indirectly infected.

All of these people were infected at least a week ago. However, there are certainly other carriers of the virus in Switzerland who either pass on the disease without showing symptoms or who become ill themselves. As soon as the infection is confirmed in Switzerland, the suspicion criteria would have to be expanded, Koch said.

Mild course in most cases

Koch emphasized several times that the disease takes a mild course in the vast majority of cases. The infection is much more dangerous for the elderly population, where the virus circulates mainly. For this reason, it is not a good idea for families to appoint grandparents to look after children, so that parents can continue working if they have sick children at home.

Koch further specified that the ban on events with more than 1000 people does not mean that events with 999 people or less are generally permissible. In any case, the organisers are obliged to weigh up the risks, with the involvement of the respective cantons. On Monday at the latest, a comparison will be made between the cantons.

On 29 February, four further suspicious cases were definitively confirmed in the canton of Graubünden. A total of six people in the canton are now positive, 27 are still being investigated. Picture: Daniel Karmann

On 28 February, Daniel Koch, Head of the Communicable Diseases Division at the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, announced that there were 13 confirmed cases in Switzerland. Picture: Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

Case 9: The canton of Vaud reports that it has its first coronavirus patient. This is a 49-year-old man.

No further repatriations from abroad are necessary at the moment, as Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the crisis management centre in the FDFA's Foreign Department, explained. Travellers would decide at their own discretion and would not be entitled to an organized departure from a crisis area. However, Swiss representations would offer assistance, advice and support.

Eric Scheidegger, Head of the Economic Policy Directorate in the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), reminded the audience of the possibility that companies could now also be forced to leave the country due to the effects of the Corona

Situation abroad

"We draw attention to the fact that Swiss nationals have no right to leave a crisis area." However, the FDFA is available as a point of contact.

Now Hans-Peter Lenz from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs says: "At present, no persons in other countries have to be returned to Switzerland.


Closing schools is also out of the question at present: "Children are not at risk. Even if they fall ill, their illness is usually mild. The first priority is to protect the grandparents: "If we close the school now, the children will be looked after by the grandparents. It would be dangerous for the older generation."

Koch: "There are no new, heavy measures planned at the moment." A border closure is not an option at this time. "Also because we are dependent on medical personnel crossing the border."

For people who have severe respiratory problems, or the elderly, this does not apply to this extent.

Appeal to the population

It is important to know: "We must save our resources. We'll have to concentrate on the more difficult cases." Minor cases, people who have a slight cold or fever are asked to stay home. "Such people shouldn't all rush to hospital. We cannot now overload our hospital staff and doctors over the weekend," said Koch.

The FOPH expects that there will be further infections. "The cases that we are currently recording were infected last week," said Koch.

Koch emphasizes: "For most people, especially for young people, the disease is rather harmless. It is only dangerous for older people."

"In the vast majority of cases the disease is mild. The disease is dangerous for the elderly population, where it also grazes the most", says Koch. This is also the case in China. Even children are practically not affected there.

In Italy, 885 confirmed cases were known and 21 of the infected persons had died. This is very worrying because of the apparently large number of unreported cases.

17 cases

Koch: "We currently have twelve confirmed corona cases in Switzerland. In five other cases a first positive test has been obtained, but here the result of the reference test is still pending".

The FOPH is the first to do so. Daniel Koch: "Unfortunately, events evolve very quickly." Yesterday's Federal Council decree to ban events involving more than 1000 people has caused a lot of discussion. "Events under 1000 are either approved or not by the cantons."

At today's press conference, three departments will provide information on the current status of the coronavirus. Present are Eric Scheidegger, Head of the Economic Policy Directorate at Seco, Hans-Peter Lenz from the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre and Daniel Koch, head of the FOPH's department.

New information for the public

After banning major events throughout Switzerland on Friday because of the coronavirus, the Federal Council wants to continue informing the population today at 13.30 hrs. The media conference will be broadcast live for 20 minutes and the most important information will be recorded in the live ticker.

This concludes the media conference. Thank you very much for your interest!


Question: What happens if 900 people are let in during a football match?

For events with less than 1000 people, a risk assessment must be made with the authorities, says Berset. But it doesn't mean that events with less than 1000 people are always allowed.


Daniel Koch reads out the current status of coronavirus infected persons in Switzerland by canton: Ticino has two cases, Aargau one, Geneva three, Graubünden two, Obwalden one, Basel-Land one, Basel-Stadt one, Zurich two and the Canton of Vaud one. But each individual case is special.
estimated number of unreported cases

Question: Does the Federation expect a high number of unreported cases of infected persons?

No, says Koch. "So far we still discover most cases. But in the rest of Europe we expect a high number of unreported cases, especially in Italy. You have to take this into account when assessing the situation," says Koch.

In Italy it is probably no longer possible to always be able to prove the transmission chain without gaps, says Berset. The same applies to Germany.


Question: Are only events that take place in confined spaces affected by the measures?

No, says Berset. also the Bernese or Basel carnival.

And what about church services?

"The last time I attended a service with more than a thousand people was in Rome," says Berset. But the measures were initially valid for two weeks. Then everyone would have to decide for themselves what they wanted to do or not.


Question: Who pays for quarantine and testing? The health insurance company or the affected person himself?

"The tests are diagnostic tests, so they are paid for by the health insurance companies," says Daniel Koch. The quarantine measures would have to be paid for by the cantons. But since most people are in quarantine at home, this is not important at the moment.

Zurich HB

Question: What about transport hubs? At Zurich main station or Bern railway station? And what about shopping centres?

They wanted to ban major events, such as a concert. "Such events cannot be compared to a situation in a railway station," says Berset. Infection requires a distance of less than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

Berset in Italy

Question: Berset was in Italy last week. Did he also take a test?

Berset: "I show no symptoms. I feel fine."


The number of tests has risen sharply, says Koch. The number of tests has doubled again from yesterday to today alone. "The important thing is that there must be a plausible reason for someone being infected," says Koch. You don't test everyone with symptoms now.

Emergency law

Question: The Confederation also has the possibility of declaring an "extraordinary situation". What would be the difference between this and an extraordinary situation?

The extraordinary situation would be comparable to emergency law, says Berset. But there are clear criteria for this. The situation would be declared if Switzerland were in great danger. But even in the current, special situation, there are different levels of escalation, says Berset. "At the moment we are still at a low level."

Question: When would they close off entire towns or areas?

There is no reason for that, says Berset. You have to be very flexible to take the right measures at the right time - not too early and not too late.

Daniel Koch takes the floor: "Sealing off areas makes little sense. But in Switzerland, a great many people who also work in the healthcare sector commute. If hospital employees are no longer able to go to work or hospital staff cannot return home, it is counterproductive. "You have to look at every measure: "Is it really effective?"

Hardship clause

Question: Is there an assessment of the economic impact of the measures?

It is clear that there are economic consequences, says Berset. But the top priority is the health of the population. According to the Epidemics Act, however, the Confederation is not responsible for economic damage. There is a hardship clause for special persons, says Berset.

Ski resorts

Question: What is the situation in the ski resorts?

"This is again a situation where there are not a thousand people in a confined space on top of each other," says Berset. The current ban only applies to events where there are a lot of people in a small space. This does not apply to ski resorts.


Question: Have the cantons delegated powers to the Confederation so that they do not have to take unpopular measures on their own?

"No", says Hanselmann. The cantons have proved that they are prepared to do everything they can to minimise the incidence of disease. But if the Confederation follows a uniform line, it will be easier and more timely to implement the measures. "I am aware that the decision also has financial implications," says Hanselmann. But the health of the population comes first.

Number of people

Question: Why was the number kept at 1000? What is the situation in public transport, for example on the train between Berne and Zurich?

As the Federal Council says, the number 1000 has something quite accidental about it. But they wanted to ban events with a large number of people. If someone there were to become infected, it was guaranteed that the chain of infection would be lost, and it would no longer be possible to trace who had had contact with whom. It was therefore reasonable to set this at 1000 people and not at 2000.

Berset: "And the situation in public transport is similar to that in the office. There it is still possible to take into account the hygiene measures that were recommended. Whether the session of parliament will take place in March is a matter for parliament to decide.


Question: Who will bear the financial consequences of these cancellations?

The law does not provide for financial compensation from the federal government, says Berset.

Last edited by kleeblatt; Mar 1st, 2020 at 02:06 AM.
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Old Mar 1st, 2020, 07:04 AM
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Update 5 hrs later (4pm Swiss time):Coronavirus, lägg du mir am Arsch – Basler Fasnacht vorwärts marsch!
For all those who understand the world language Baaselditsch:
According to TeleBasel the best Bangg may be recorded without public and transmitted Monday evening.
Have a look at

Infected people in Switzerland: 25, most of them in the Cantons of Grischun and Geneva. All of them have been in Lombardy before.

Infected people in Italy: 1150,. most of them in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, but the following regions have some cases too:
Piemonte, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige, Liguria, Toscana, Marche, Abruzzo-Molise, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata, Apulia, Calabria.
50 people died.

Infected people in Germany: 130, most of them in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Bavaria

Infedted people in France: 100, 2 died, 9 are in a serious condition. Musee du Louvre closed.

Infected people in Austria and Greece: 10 each

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Old Mar 1st, 2020, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for that info neckervd and kleeblatt.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2020, 09:09 AM
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Update March 3rd:
Infected people in Switzerland : 60, in French Geneva County FRENCH southern shore of Lake Geneva): 30
Totals for France and Germany: about 200 each
Italy: around 2000 infected and 80 deads.
Spain: about 150 infected, 50 of them in Madrid
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Old Mar 4th, 2020, 12:56 AM
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The first wave of panic-buying has receded and stores are stocked again (accept for face masks and sanitizers). People are learning how to live with this flu by continuing to work and get on with their lives. What has affected everyone in Switzerland has been:

1. The recommendation that we no longer kiss, hug or hand shake when we greet
2. The cancellation of any event consisting of 150 people or more (depending on the canton)
3. Random empty shelves of basics at local stores
4. Heightened sensitivity of symptoms in others and oneself
5. Heightened sanitizing procedures in companies and public areas

There's an awareness that the virus is much like any other flu, just a bit more contagious.

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Old Mar 10th, 2020, 01:24 AM
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Switzerland is still open to tourists although any event over 150 (amount depending on the canton) people has been cancelled. I was in Zürich last weekend and it was a delight. The only thing really missing was Asian tourists. I didn't see many people walking around in masks and people were determined to have a good day out despite the risk of contamination.

In the mountains, ski resorts were busy with skiers as well.

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Old Mar 10th, 2020, 02:27 AM
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But in relation to the whole population, Switzerland has more coronavirus infections than most other European countries.

Numbers by area:
Swiss lake Geneva area (GE, VD): 90
French Lake Geneva area, Hte Savoie: 60
Neuchatel and Fribourg: 30
Berne: 30
Basel area, Swiss side (BS, BL, JU, SO, AG): 70
Basel area, French side: 100
Basel area, German side: 1
Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen: 40
Central Switzerland: 30
Grischun: 20
Italian Bernina area (Tirano - Lake Como): 10
Ticino: 70
Lake Como area, Brianza: 40
Italian Lake Maggiore area (VA, VCO): 60

2 persons died

Last edited by neckervd; Mar 10th, 2020 at 02:31 AM.
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Old Mar 11th, 2020, 09:22 AM
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Numbers by area:
Swiss lake Geneva area (GE, VD): 200
Valais: 20
Neuchatel and Fribourg: 50
Berne: 40
Basel area, Swiss side (BS, BL, JU, SO, AG): 80
Basel area, French side: unknown
Basel area, German side: 1
Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen: 80
Central Switzerland: 30
Grischun: 20
Ticino: 130

4 deads
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Old Mar 11th, 2020, 09:29 PM
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Corona virus in switzerland

On Wednesday nine border crossings between Switzerland and Italy were closed, but a complete closure of the border has been avoided up until this point. They are listed below, along with the suggested replacement crossings.
  • Pedrinate -> Chiasso strada (Ponte Chiasso)
  • Ponte Faloppia -> Novazzano Brusata (Bizzarone), Chiasso strada
  • Novazzano Marcetto -> Novazzano Brusata (Bizzarone), Chiasso strada
  • San Pietro di Stabio -> Stabio Gaggiolo
  • Ligornetto Cantorn -> Stabio Gaggiolo
  • Arzo -> Stabio Gaggiolo, Brusino Arsizio
  • Ponte Cremenaga -> Fornasette o Ponte Tresa
  • Cassinone -> Fornasette
  • Indemini -> Dirinella (Zenna)
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Old Mar 12th, 2020, 08:47 AM
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These border crossings on small side roads were used by local people only and are of no interest for tourists.
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Old Mar 12th, 2020, 09:31 AM
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Numbers by area:
Swiss lake Geneva area (GE, VD): 240
Valais: 20
Neuchatel and Fribourg: 60
Berne: 50
Basel area, Swiss side (BS, BL, JU, SO, AG): 150
Basel area, French side: 360
Basel area, German side: 1
Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen: 110
Vorarlberg: 20
Central Switzerland: 30
Grischun: 30
Italian Bernina area: 20
Ticino: 180
Lake Como area: 100
Italian Lake Maggiore area: 100
6 dead people in Switzerland

Last edited by neckervd; Mar 12th, 2020 at 10:09 AM.
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Old Mar 13th, 2020, 10:31 AM
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Any chance they'd cancel things like train or ferry services in July?

Or shut down popular venues, in order to discourage large gatherings?

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Old Mar 14th, 2020, 07:26 AM
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Actually, all domestic trains, buses and boats linking inhabited towns/villages run according to the timetables,
except Centovalli Express, Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Gotthard Panorama Express, Palm Express.
All other boats, cog railways, rope railways and gondolas don't run.

Nobody can predict what will be in July.
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Old Mar 15th, 2020, 06:37 AM
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Old Mar 18th, 2020, 09:28 AM
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Numbers by area:
Lake Geneva area (GE, VD, Haute Savoie): 1200
Valais: 140
Neuchatel and Fribourg: 150
Berne: 170
Basel area, Swiss side (BS, BL, JU, SO, AG): 500
Basel area, French side: 700
Basel area, German side: 20
Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gallen: 450
Vorarlberg: 130
Central Switzerland: 150
Grischun: 100
Italian Bernina area: 80
Ticino: 520
Lake Como area: 300
Italian Lake Maggiore area: 300
23 dead people in Switzerland
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