The acute phase of the pandemic is over according to the government, but caution remains in order. The Confederation and the cantons want to agree on a common strategic document to clarify the tasks of each.
With the return to the normal situation, the cantons are back on the front line for the management of the pandemic and the protection of the population. Bern opens a consultation procedure until April 22 in order to clarify the tasks and objectives of each.
Four possible scenarios in 2022/2023
- A low number of cases with some regional outbreaks
- An increase in cases but with a manageable situation thanks to the existing structures
- An increase with a risk of overloading the health system
- A new pandemic situation with a new pathogen
The cantons will have to monitor the pandemic at their level and adapt their hospital capacities accordingly, being ready to deal with the different scenarios. A sufficiently reactive test infrastructure must be available in the event of a deterioration of the situation.
Wide range of measures
Most of the tasks that fell to the Confederation during the special situation will fall to the cantons from April 1. They now have the possibility of enacting the same measures that have prevailed so far at the federal level.
The cantons can, for example, pronounce a total or partial ban on demonstrations, close schools, prohibit or limit the entry and exit of certain buildings or areas. They can make mask-wearing mandatory on public transport, in shops, at protests, at school, order isolation and quarantine measures, and contact tracing.
Certificate and vaccines too
They can also reactivate the use of the Covid certificate in public places. This certificate will be maintained and developed by the Confederation in accordance with EU regulations as a prerequisite for travel.
It will also now be possible to establish certificates of cure on the basis of a positive result of a rapid antigenic test, we read in the document of the consultation. Such certificates were already issued between January 24 and February 16, 2022, but they were only valid in Switzerland, due to a lack of legislation at European level. These certificates are now valid internationally for 180 days.
With regard to vaccines, the cantons should ensure that the population has access to vaccines and booster shots for everyone at all times, in particular in anticipation of autumn 2022. Bern will continue to ensure the purchase of vaccines until 2023 .
The Federal Office of Public Health will continue to provide financial and coordination support for national research projects and various monitoring programs concerning research into drugs for Covid-19 and the long-term effects of the disease. .