Swiss restaurants demand support as new COVID rules expected
GastroSuisse, the employers' association for hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, has called on the Swiss government to provide more financial support to the hospitality industry. This comes as the government is due to announce new regulations regarding the use of COVID certificates.
53.000 job losses in Swiss restaurants and hotels since 2020
The association wrote in a press statement that the industry had suffered significant losses during the last two years and is still feeling the effects of reduced demand. They said that restaurant income was down by 70 percent in July and August compared with 2020 and that many restaurant owners do not have the money to keep paying their workers’ salaries.
Casimir Platzer, president of GastroSuisse, said that owners' financial savings “have been used up.” He urged the government to expand hardship payments and government support for struggling businesses. He noted that the current range of government funding, such as reduced business taxes and business incentives, were not enough to save jobs.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, 53.000 jobs have been lost in the hospitality industry since the start of 2020, making it one of the hardest-hit sectors of the economy. “That corresponds to every fifth person” being sacked, said Platzer, who feared that a tightening of restrictions will lead to more people losing their jobs.
COVID certificate requirements in Switzerland to be announced
The comments come as the Federal Council is set to make a decision on the expansion of the COVID certificate requirement on Wednesday. Although no official statement has been made, 20 minuten and other media outlets have concluded that an expansion of the COVID certificate or “3G” system is inevitable in the next few weeks. This would mean that restaurants would be required to check COVID certificates in order to serve customers.
Platzer claimed that these new regulations would lead to a 45 percent reduction in business for restaurants and hotels. He said that GastroSuisse will ask its members to abide by the new rules, but urged the government to consider the wider impact of its actions and compensate owners if they lose business.