Corona Re-Start | Switzerland

After 5 months: Open restaurant interiors

As of Monday, the Swiss catering industry will be allowed to take off, even indoors - with conditions.
Imago / Geisser
As of Monday, the Swiss catering industry will be allowed to take off, even indoors - with conditions.

A day of collective relief: On 31 May 2021, Switzerland's gastronomy sector will be allowed to reopen its indoor areas to guests with restrictions - after an industry lockdown of around five months! The curfew will also be lifted, there will be no strict mask requirement at the table, and tables of six will be allowed outdoors. These and other Corona relaxations were announced by the Swiss Federal Council on May 26.

"We are very relieved and welcome this step," emphasizes Casimir Platzer, president of GastroSuisse, relieved. "The Federal Council decided todaythat restaurants will be allowed to reopen indoor areas from 31 May. This follows what the industry association had been demanding for a long time and what it had been working towards intensively in recent weeks, as the industry shutdown was disproportionate."

Declining case numbers decisive

Since also in the course of various opening steps in recent weeks, a decline in the number of cases has been recorded throughout Switzerland and this shows that the vaccination campaign is working and the protective measures are observed by the population, this is to be considered a good development, but one is not yet at the end of the road, it says from the Ministry of Health.

The most important relaxations Switzerland-wide:

  • As of May 31, restaurants will be allowed to reopen indoor areas.
  • From 1 June, large events will be allowed again according to a three-stage concept.
  • Private meetings will be allowed outdoors with up to 100 people.
  • Home office requirement may be changed to a recommendation for regularly testing businesses.

What is allowed in the catering industry?

The fourth opening step of the government presents itself more extensive than expected and allows the catering industry from 31 May 2021 also to reoccupy the indoor places.
Under the following conditions and with innovations

  • Spacing rules apply.
  • Four people per table is the maximum allowed inside.
  • Seating is mandatory.
  • Collection of contact information is mandatory.
  • Closing time is imposed.
  • Outside tables with a maximum of six seats are allowed.
  • Masks are notrequired at the table, but are required for guests and staff when getting up.

There is a tiered opening schedule for large events:

  1. From 1 June, larger pilot events may take place again - five per canton may be approved. The maximum number of people indoors is 600.
  2. From 20 August, 1,000 people will be permitted outdoors.
  3. From the beginning of July, the following will apply to large events: the maximum number of people for indoor events will be 3,000. Outside, a maximum of 5,000 is now permitted with compulsory seating. With standing room, the maximum is 3,000 people.
  4. Attendance at these large events is reserved for fully vaccinated guests who have recovered from Covid-19 or guests who have tested negative. The Covid-19 certificate is to be used as soon as it is available.

Further opening steps planned for 23 June

The Bundesrat is planning a further, also larger opening step before the summer. A consultation date is planned for 11 June. On 23 June, the Federal Council plans to take a decision on the next opening package

, which is to apply from 1 July.