(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss government expanded the use of certificates and masks to stem the tide of coronavirus infections less than a week after citizens backed previous measures in a referendum.
All indoor public events will require proof of vaccination, recovery from previous infection or a negative test, though public institution and event organizers can exclude the unvaccinated, the government said Friday.
The measures are to remain in place until Jan. 24
A proposal to make working from home for all or at least the unvaccinated mandatory didn’t pass. Instead, the government urges people to work from home and said those in offices will need to wear masks.
Switzerland will remove all countries from its quarantine list.
The Swiss have generally taken a more laissez-faire approach than their neighbors to managing the pandemic, including keeping schools mostly open and allowing ski resorts to continue operating. Germany imposed stringent nationwide restrictions on people who aren’t vaccinated and paved the way to making shots compulsory.
Switzerland still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe. Infection numbers are surging and hospitals are filling up. At least three people have tested positive for the omicron variant.
Read more: Swiss Vote to Keep Covid Pass to Help Avoid Lockdowns
Voters backed the continued use of the corona certificates in a vote on Sunday in what was regarded as a broader referendum on the government’s approach to handling the crisis. The majority failed to be swayed by vociferous skeptics, who argued the passes infringed upon civil liberties and wanted the government to scupper social distancing restrictions generally.
Theaters and restaurant visits already required the use of a pass showing the bearer has been vaccinated against, tested negative for or recovered from Covid-19. The time period under which a rapid antigen Covid test is valid was reduced to 24 hours from 48 hours.
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