Switzerland voters approve enhanced COVID-19 measures
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Switzerland voters approve enhanced COVID-19 measures

Voters in Switzerland approved Sunday the government’s new COVID-19 measures in a referendum. In September 2020, the Swiss Parliament passed the COVID-19 Act to respond to the global medical crisis and protect the Swiss economy. In March 2021, Parliament altered the Act to include contact tracing, government-supported testing, and “expanded financial support to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis who had previously received little or no aid.”

In the legislation, Parliament also created the legal basis for “COVID certificates,” a variety of documents proving a person’s vaccination status or test results. During the referendum, 62 percent of voters agreed with the new measures.

Certificates are issued by individual cantons at vaccination centers, hospitals, pharmacies, and other locations. Certificates are required at riskier events like large gatherings, nightclubs, indoor restaurants, cultural facilities, and weddings. Businesses can choose to use certificates in other settings. Certificates are not required on public transport, at religious gatherings of under 50 people, at parliament meetings, or private events with 30 people or fewer.

Only two Cantons voted against the new measures: Schwyz in central Switzerland and Appenzell Innerrhoden in the northeast.