Switzerland has decided to ban at least all public and private events gathering more than 1,000 people until March 15, to limit the transmission of the new coronavirus.
“Due to the current situation and the spread of coronavirus, the Federal Council (Swiss Government) has decided to declare the situation that Switzerland is currently facing as a” special situation “within the meaning of the law on epidemics and (…) to prohibit the manifestations public and private groups that simultaneously gather more than 1,000 people, “according to a government statement.
The ban goes into effect immediately and will apply at least until March 15.
“These measures have proven effective in other countries” and are in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), said Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset at a press conference.
In the case of events involving less than 1,000 people, the organizers must, in collaboration with the authorities, assess the risks to determine whether or not they can organize the event. “In recent days, I have noticed that the number of cases has increased a lot in the world (…), especially in the neighboring countries with Switzerland, such as Italy and Germany,” Berset told journalists. “Even if the authorities in these countries make every effort to control the situation, things are starting to get out of hand,” he said.
As of Tuesday, Switzerland is among the countries affected by the Covid-19 epidemic: “It is an evolution that does not surprise us” and “we have 15 people tested positive,” said Berset. “We must expect an increase in the number of cases in the coming days,” he warned.