Coronavirus

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Current status in the Canton of Zurich

The Federal Council will gradually ease the measures in place.

Since May 11, classroom teaching is allowed again in the schools for children of compulsory-school age. Shops, markets, museums, libraries, food service industry and sports facilities may re-open - in strict compliance with protection concepts.

Since April 27, personal services involving physical contact, such as hair dressing and beauty salons and tattoo studios, are permitted. Self-service facilities, such as car washes, solariums, flower nurseries, DIY stores and garden centers including market gardens and flower shops, are open.

Switzerland still is in an extraordinary situation. However, the measures passed by the Federal Council are now gradually eased. All facilities affected by the easing must present and implement a protection concept. Compliance with the hygiene and conduct rules must be feasible for everyone - employees, customers, teachers, students, apprentices, athletes and coaches.

Gatherings of more than five persons are still prohibited. At gatherings of less than five persons, a minimum distance of two meters must be kept.

Avoiding the spread of coronavirus

Even though the Federal Council is now easing the measures - subject to strict compliance with protection concepts: The new coronavirus is still around. We need to prepare ourselves for “a long ride”. So as to reduce the risk of another heavy spread, we should all keep observing the hygiene and conduct rules consistently and avoid unnecessary contact.

If you are older than 65 years or an adult with a pre-existing condition, you should avoid frequented places (e.g. train stations, public transport) and rush hours (e.g. shopping on Saturdays, commuter traffic).
The purpose of all measures is:

  • stopping the spread,
  • protecting people with increased risk of complications (people aged 65 and above, people with high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diseases and therapies that weaken the immune system, cancer) and
  • ensuring hospital capacity for severe cases.

What to do if you have an acute illness, which may have been caused by the new coronavirus

You are experiencing symptoms of an acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, short breath) with or without fever, feverish feeling or muscular pain and/or suddenly lose your sense of smell and/or taste, which may be caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). You must isolate at home immediately to avoid infecting other people. You must get tested. Only go to a doctor's practice or test center after having made an appointment by telephone.

The test result will determine how long you have to stay in isolation. If you test positive, the competent cantonal service will contact you and give you further information and instructions.

What to do if you were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

You were in close contact with a person who has contracted the new coronavirus. Close contact means you have spent time near an infected person (less than 2 meters away) for more than 15 minutes without protection. If, at the same time, that person was contagious, you must self-quarantine at home for 10 days. The competent cantonal service will contact you and give you further information and instructions.  

Easement of the ban on visits

There is a general visiting ban in hospitals. All persons are prohibited from visiting patients at a hospital. In objectively substantiated cases, the hospital management can grant exceptions for particular patient groups in general or in individual cases. In such cases, no more than two visitors may visit a patient at the same time. The hospital management regulates the details, in particular the maximum duration of visits and the maximum number of visits per day.

In Zurich's old people's and nursing homes, the ban on visits will be eased as of 30 April 2020, and will be changed for a visiting regulation. Subject to hygiene and distance regulations, the homes may set up specially designated visitor zones, so relatives and friends can visit the residents in these institutions again.

Amongst other things, visitor zones can be set up as of today. In these areas, visitors are separated from the residents by means of suitable devices (e.g. glass, plexiglass).

Should I wear a sanitary mask?

Healthy persons are not supposed to wear sanitary masks (surgical masks) in public. They are not effective in protecting a healthy person from an infection with respiratory viruses (self-protection). Wearing a mask can therefore create a false feeling of safety. For the population, the most important and most effective measure for personal protection and the protection of others is observing the hygiene and behavior rules.

Exceptions to this recommendation:

  • If you suffer from a respiratory disease: Sanitary masks can prevent a sick person from infecting others. For that reason, please do wear a mask as soon as you are unable to keep a two meter minimum distance to others (for instance at home, in a medical practice, pharmacy or in public transport before/after a consultation).
  • If you have to wear a mask at work (for instance health care professionals or care givers of particularly vulnerable people.

Precautionary measures and rules of conduct for elderly people

Whereas young and middle-aged people with COVID-19 mostly present with mild flu-like symptoms, according to the global data available so far, elderly people, especially people over eighty, partly come down with severe cases of the disease. Apart from age, underlying ailments, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, increase the risk of suffering a severe case of COVID-19.

Minimise contact-related risks

  • Weigh up the general risk of travel (air travel, train travel, contact risk, etc.) very carefully
  • Favour phone calls with grandchildren and family/friends as a temporary substitute in lieu of face-to-face contacts
  • Whenever possible, postpone family festivities, events and gatherings
  • Relatives should adhere to the same precautionary measures
  • Refrain from having routine check-ups in the hospital or GP practice at this time  

Special precautionary measures for elderly people

  • Avoid public transport as much as possible, especially during rush hour
  • Avoid shopping during rush hour times, or have a friend or neighbour do your shopping for you
  • Take daily walks outdoors in the fresh air, though always adhere to the rule of social distancing when doing so 

Boost your immune system:

  • Eat regularly and include sufficient protein intake in every meal
  • Eat fruit and vegetables daily to ensure a sufficient supply of vitamin C
  • Avoid a vitamin D deficiency (intake of 800 IU/day)
  • Make sure to get enough sleep and do not drink alcohol excessively  

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Information for the media

Media releases, media conferences, video with the cantonal medical office (available in German)