Swiss to announce further relaxation of coronavirus rules: NZZ

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland will decide on Wednesday on further relaxations of restrictions brought in to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, including how to reopen nightclubs and football stadiums, the Neue Zuercher Zeitung paper reported.

FILE PHOTO: An employee of Zurich’s public transport operator Verkehrsbetriebe Zuerich (VBZ) hands out protective face masks to passengers, as a measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a tram stop at Bellevue square in Zurich, Switzerland May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A four-person limit on the number of people who can eat together in restaurants will be scrapped, while the government could relax curbs on the size of public gatherings, the newspaper said, citing sources.

A maximum of five people have been allowed to meet in public under Swiss restrictions introduced in March, but this could now rise to 30 people. Private events of up to 300 people could be allowed again, allowing holiday camps for children to open.

The government is expected to outline its plans to the public after a cabinet meeting.

Health Minister Alain Berset wants to stick the plan to allow theatres, cinemas, zoos, swimming pools and mountain railways to open on June 8, the paper said.

Other members of the coalition government want a faster opening up, the paper added, although this was unlikely.

From June 8, nightclubs could also reopen, with an upper limit of 300 people, while football stadiums and theatres could open with no more than 1,000 people, the paper said.

But distancing rules where the government asks people to keep two metres (6 feet) apart will remain in force, the paper said, noting how difficult this could be for restaurants to enforce.

Switzerland has already reopened shops, schools and beauty salons. The country is also testing a mobile phone app to help trace the disease.

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Switzerland has eased in recent days, rising by 15 new cases on Tuesday to 30,761, while the death toll has reached 1,648.

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Lincoln Feast.