Switzerland has made significant strides to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a matter of days after gatherings of 300 were given the green light, the Federal Council permits event capacity of up to 1,000 as of June 22nd, 2020.
The Federal Office of Public Health’s update also allows for social distancing guidelines to be reduced from 2 meters to 1.5. Restaurant and bar patrons also no longer need to remain seated, and such establishments no longer need to abide by fixed closing times, among other loosened restrictions. The announcement marks the first time crowds of up to 1,000 have been allowed in Switzerland since February 28th.
Compared to that of the U.K. and U.S., Swiss response to the coronavirus was swift. It wasn’t until the festival crash unfolded in early March that lawmakers in many other countries began frantically imposing similar restrictions. It appears to have translated into delays in exit strategy. U.K. policymakers in particular have only recently began to float reopening plans by the public after some have posited that their silence on such matters led partygoers to seek out illegal raves.
Meanwhile, the full economic repercussions of the pandemic remain to be realized. The AIF forewarn of an “independent festival wasteland” in the U.K., and for some artists, DJ Bone recently speculated that COVID-19 “is ultimately going to crush their careers.”
The Federal Council mandates that the 1,000-person capacity limits remain in place until August 31st, 2020.
Image Credit: Long Truong