«No» from the federal government to new easing of restrictions

SWITZERLAND

The Federal Council has decided against sending the cantons new proposals for the next phase of reopenings, announced yesterday by Alain Berset on Twitter - The president of the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors: «We share the decision, the current situation is uncertain».

 «No» from the federal government to new easing of restrictions
«No» of the Confederation to new relaxations

«No» from the federal government to new easing of restrictions

«No» of the Confederation to new relaxations

(Updated at 09.20) No new relaxation in sight in Switzerland, with the Federal Council opting instead not to send the cantons any new proposals for reopening yesterday. Following a conversation with the president of the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors (CD) Lukas Engelberger, Federal Councillor Alain Berset declared on Twitter that the «situation is good, but the situation is still negative and uncertainty is linked to vacation returns». Therefore, for the moment, «no further discussion of any measures is planned». The Federal Council will re-evaluate the situation on August 11.

Meanwhile, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has made several suggestions to the cantons. The letter published on the FOPH website states that the federal government wants the individual cantons to take measures within their jurisdiction over the next few weeks to protect children, young people and those especially at risk.

Tests «urgently» recommended

The federal government «urgently» recommends that cantons make repeat testing for unvaccinated and untreated health care workers in hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities, and Spitex organizations compulsory. The asymptomatic workers would contribute significantly to virus transmission, the FOPH wrote. Testing is therefore needed as a supplement to vaccination and protection concepts.

Additionally, the federal government suggested that visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and care facilities should in the future only be permitted with a COVID certificate or a rapid antigen test performed on site.

As supplementary measures, the FOPH asked the cantons to intensify controls to ensure compliance with the certificate requirement and, in view of the start of school after the summer vacations, to extend repeat testing in schools.

General situation «good

In spite of the recent increase in the number of cases, the Federal Government does not want to intensify the general measures. But at the same time, no relaxation is indicated for the time being. This had already been indicated by federal experts last week. The general situation remains good, wrote the FOPH. With exception of the replication rate, the current values are «very far» from the tightening criteria set by the Federal Council. In addition, the rise in the number of cases has slowed again in recent days.

And with respect to the federal proposal to make unvaccinated health care workers undergo mandatory testing, Mr. Engelberger reacted to the idea with caution: he is of the opinion «that we have not to increase the pressure on individual employees now, but we have to insist on reminding them of the vaccination offer, for all those in the health care sector who are not vaccinated.»

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