Switzerland announces plans to restart culture

The Swiss Federal Council (SFC) has announced plans to start reopening arts venues from 1 March. In a statement released on 17 February, it proposed a “cautious, gradual easing of measures to allow society to start to reopen and economic activity to resume.”

Under the plans, museums, library reading rooms, outside spaces and leisure facilities will reopen. Private outdoor events for up to 15 people will be permitted also.

SFC will take a final decision on 24 February. If the reopening does not lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases then restrictions will be gradually eased.

“More activities should be permitted progressively if infection rates are favourable and as vaccination rates rise,” said SFC in a statement. “Further reopening phases will follow at monthly intervals as long as the epidemiological situation allows. That way, there is sufficient time between phases to monitor developments.”

That second phase should begin on 1 April. If it goes ahead as planned, it will mean that cultural events can resume, although social distancing and other safety measures will remain in place.

Switzerland has had almost 550,000 COVID-19 cases, with just over 9,000 deaths.