The Swiss flag with mountains and countryside in the background.
Janosch Diggelmann

Switzerland prepares for a subdued Swiss National Day

The pandemic and recent increases in confirmed Covid-19 cases have forced the country to scale-down party plans

Written by
Time Out editors

Swiss National Day, celebrated annually on August 1, is usually a time for out-and-out celebrating across the country, characterised by fireworks, street parades, bonfires, paper lanterns and a general party atmosphere on every corner. This year, however, things are looking a little different.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still being felt across the country, with several Swiss cantons tightening up lockdown restrictions once again after an increase in confirmed cases. Additionally, there’s still a ban of events with more than 1,000 people anywhere in Switzerland until at least the end of August, with some people predicting that the ban will be extended. Events of up to 1,000 people need to be divided up, with a maximum of 300 people in each section. All of which means that Swiss National Day will be a far quieter and lower-key affair than normal.

Another factor that’s likely to limit celebrations is the recent clutch of Covid-19 cases that have occurred after being spread amongst small groups of clubbers. This includes 300 guests and staff from Zurich’s Flamingo Club being quarantined in June after a clubber tested positive for Covid-19. A similar incident occurred at the Rooftop°42 bar in Geneva at the weekend, according to some news outlets, where a man reportedly infected around 20 other guests, after not realising he was carrying the virus.

But despite these incidents and a rise in cases in some areas, there will be some celebrating happening on Swiss National Day. Bars and restaurants are very much open and there’ll likely be a lively atmosphere among those who are out and about, as well as lots of people celebrating in homes and gardens around the country – including plenty of fireworks, of course.

Don’t worry if you can’t party properly just yet, as there are tons of other great things to do around Switzerland. Find out more in our guide to the ultimate Swiss summer staycation.

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