Face masks will be compulsory on public transport around Switzerland from July 6, after a rise in coronavirus cases.
The Swiss Government announced the move on July 1, explaining that increased numbers of people using public transport since lockdown restrictions eased have made it difficult to maintain effective social distancing. It also cited the “rising number of new infections since mid-June” as another reason for the decision.
On the day of the announcement, the total number of people in Switzerland who had tested positive for coronavirus was 31,851, which was 137 more than the previous day. On that same day, the total number of people who have died from the virus in the country was recorded as 1,685.
The requirement to wear a mask applies to everyone over the age of 12 travelling on trains, trams, buses, mountain railways, cable transport and boats. The government notes in its announcement that although there is already an “urgent recommendation” to wear a face mask on public transport, “few people are heeding this advice”. A recent study found that 94% of Swiss train commuters aren’t currently wearing face masks.
On the same day that the face masks rule kicks in, Monday July 6, a new quarantine law will also be introduced. People entering Switzerland from certain countries will have to go into quarantine for ten days, again due to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases, some of which are thought to have been brought in from abroad.
The Federal Office of Public Health will keep and update a list of the countries, and travellers affected by the policy will be notified during travel to Switzerland and at border crossings, and will have to register with authorities when they arrive.