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Nine of Switzerland’s cantons shorten COVID-19 quarantine period

Nine of Switzerland’s cantons shorten COVID-19 quarantine period

Several of Switzerland’s cantons have changed their quarantine rules, shortening the isolation period to just seven days for close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The change allows many people to return to work faster and is intended to prevent labour shortages across the country.

Nine Swiss cantons change COVID quarantine rules

Residents in the cantons of Basel City, Geneva, Ticino and Vaud have seen the quarantine period COVID contacts shortened to just seven days, as of January 1, 2022. In other cantons such as Fribourg, Jura, Valais, Zug, and Zurich, new rules coming into effect on January 3 will also see the quarantine period for close contacts of people infected with COVID-19 shortened to one week. 

All other cantons have decided to stick to the previous regulations, which require people who have been in contact with a COVID-positive person to quarantine for 10 full days. 

The new rules do not change the existing nationwide legislation for those who are infected with COVID-19, which states that all those who have tested positive for the virus, or have symptoms of the illness, are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Labour shortages feared across Switzerland as Omicron spreads

The rule changes come amidst growing concerns that many people could soon be forced into quarantine or self-isolation due to the rapid spread of the Omicron virus variant. Experts have found that, as of the end of December 2021, more than 90.000 people were in quarantine in Switzerland, with even more absent from work due to self-isolation, national holidays and other winter illnesses such as the cold and flu. 

Fears have therefore been growing that offices could be empty by the end of the month, and companies have issued warnings that normal business may be affected. Swiss Federal Railways and Swiss Post are among some of the largest firms to state that quarantining employees could lead to very serious disruptions to their services. The nine cantons that have changed their rules hope that by cutting the amount of days employees are out of work, any major disruptions can be avoided. 

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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