Coronavirus Zurich information and measures

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Switzerland – Coronavirus infoline

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Latest Advisory

Switzerland Unemployment and Business Measures - Swiss Federal Government - 25.03.2020

The Federal Council issued new regulations for people and business regarding RAV and Kurzarbeit (short-time work  – translation of German language page using

Bern, 25.03.2020 – On 25 March 2020, the Federal Council adopted further measures to cushion the economic consequences of the spread of the coronavirus.

They concern compulsory job registration, unemployment insurance, short-time working compensation and occupational pensions.

The new measures in favour of employees will lead to estimated additional costs for unemployment insurance of around CHF 600 million per month.

The new measures are designed in particular to reduce the administrative burden on both the applicants and the cantonal implementing bodies. The latter must be able to process applications for compensation as quickly as possible.

In the case of the obligation to register a job (STMP), the obligation to register and all associated tasks and obligations for employers and public employment services will be temporarily suspended. This will facilitate the recruitment processes, for example for medical personnel, the pharmaceutical industry, agriculture or logistics.

In the area of unemployment insurance (ALV), the submission of proof of work efforts is no longer required. The insured person must submit proof of work efforts no later than one month after the expiry of COVID 19 Regulation 2. The entire period of validity of this ordinance is considered the control period.

The first consultation and control meeting after registration with the municipality of residence or the RAV is temporarily held by telephone and within 30 days of registration.

In order to avoid tax evasion, all eligible persons will receive a maximum of 120 additional daily allowances.

The framework period for the receipt of benefits is extended by 2 years if full receipt is not possible within the current framework period.

The period for advance registration for short-time work (KAE) will be abolished.

Approval period for short-time work is extended from 3 to 6 months. This will enable the number of applications to be minimised and thus speed up the approval procedure.

In addition, the ordinance on compensation for short-time work for employees similar to employers will be adapted to the Federal Council’s wishes. As already communicated, they will receive CHF 3320 for a full-time position. This is a lump sum that will not be reduced.

Link to Zurich offices to apply as an employer. 

Download – Short Time Working Employer Application Form Spreadsheet ( D / I / F ) – 27-03

(The form may be subject to change and is linked here for your reference and to help you when in contact with the employment offices in Switzerland.)

Switzerland Extraordinary Measures - Swiss Federal Government - 20.03.2020

The Swiss Federal Announcement:

Switzerland is in an exceptional situation and the number of positively tested people is increasing rapidly.

All cantons which means the entire population of Switzerland is now affected and everyone must now take responsibility:

Stay at home – Only by acting together can we limit the number of serious illnesses and avoid overloading the health system.

The Federal Council calls on the population to take responsibility:

Stay at home.

Meetings of more than five people are prohibited in public places (was 50).

If five or fewer people meet, they must maintain a distance of two metres. Anyone who does not comply with this will be fined.

All other previously mandated measures remain in place.

For more details of announcements visit main group update and news page

For the very latest Federal news in German / French / Italian – please visit

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak in Switzerland and Zurich.

22.03.20 – COVID-19 is now affecting people across the world. The Swiss government has made some updates to its resources and these include:

Click to test online on official Federal Public Health Office website for coronavirus and symptoms (German / French / Italian / English)

Click and view Instagram account for Swiss public health – national authorities – BAG

Coronavirus Awareness - YOU CAN DO the SIX

Stay aware and DO the Six

Help stop coronavirus and protect others with your actions

Hands – wash them often and well including your wrists for 20 seconds

Elbow – when you have no tissues, cough into your elbow

Face – Don`t touch it – if you have germs on your hands you will transfer them to your face and you could breathe them in – coronavirus is respiratory. 

Space – Keep a safe distance ( 6ft or 2m) from another person and avoid areas where you have to be crammed up ( a bus or tram during rush hour) if you can.

Home – Stay at home as much as you can, go out only if you have to for food or medications, please see latest Swiss Federal Office of Public Health advisory.  

Hospital/Medical – Call ahead, use Telmed or other services including the national corona virus telephone number. You act responsibly by not turning up and help to protect emergency, front line, hospital workers and others. YOU COULD BE A CARRIER – BE RESPONSIBLE BY NOT INFECTING OTHERS. 

If in any doubt about your health and you want to check if you have the coronavirus please visit the


Federal coronavirus actions for health graphics and national phone number

Please use and take - click to view and copy / print

Switzerland – Coronavirus infoline

+41 58 463 00 00

Line open daily 24 hours

Infoline (ogni giorno 24 ore): +41 58 463 00 00

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Infoline (täglich 24 Stunden): +41 58 463 00 00

infographic for corona virus action

Zurich Canton Preparations For Coronavirus Outbreak in Switzerland

The Canton and the Federal are working within a well developed framework of action. Zurich works with all other cantons as well to address any threat to Switzerland and provides local information and support as and when required. 

There are nine hospitals in the canton are authorised to take samples from possible corona patients and treat them if the suspicion hardens.

The samples are examined in the national reference laboratory in Geneva and at the Institute for Medical Virology at the University of Zurich.

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF CORONAVIRUS TESTING KITS – Please follow the rules and visit the Federal Office of Health screening website for self-diagnosis. 

There are a total of 61 treatment places for adult corona patients and 13 for children.

The canton of Zurich has enough supply of surgical masks and medication to treat the symptoms advised the authorities in early March. 

“The Canton of Zurich is well prepared,” said Government Councilor Mario Fehr. As reported in the COVID-19 Coronavirus updates page problems are arising in some Zurich pharmacies regarding the supply of surgical masks and alcohol based disinfectants.

“Demand rose very sharply,” confirmed Lorenz Schmid, president of the Zurich cantonal pharmacists’ association. He advises against buying masks because many do not prevent infection if they are not fitted correctly or not worn by everyone.

Disinfectants are only needed on the go, a top tip shared is to have a large bottle at home and to transfer a smaller quantity to a small squeezy travel bottle. Then when at home or at work, it is enough to wash your hands thoroughly with a good soap and some water.  

Protect yourself and others during the coronavirus outbreak in Zurich

Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. 

Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene – USE tissues ! 

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Important – Have you travelled in the last 2 weeks? Please note

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.

Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area.

Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.

This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19.

Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

Follow the guidance outlined above.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition.

Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.

Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.

This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

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FAQ on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for Zurich

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.

This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.

Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus.

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.

These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.

This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings. 

The risk depends on where you live or where you have travelled recently.

The risk of infection is higher in areas where a number people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

For most people, your risk of getting COVID-19 is currently low, however, it’s important to be aware of the situation and preparedness efforts in your city or canton.

Medical authorities are still learning about the virus and how it affects people.

As of 27.02.2020 it appears that older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others. 

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work.

Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

Not yet.

To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019.

Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.

No, they are different but are related to each other.

COVID-9 ( Coronavirus) is far more infectious and has other attributes making it different to SARS. 

Current WHO guidelines are that people with no respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, do not need to wear a medical mask.

WHO recommends the use of masks for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and for those caring for individuals who have symptoms, such as cough and fever.

The use of masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone (at home or in a healthcare service/facility). If you have N95 or similar unused spare masks for any reason, please contact your local hospital to see if they need them.

The “incubation period” is defined as the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease.

Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, the most common reports and notices suggest it is most common around five days.

This may change with more data or because of the spread of the virus.

You can and the group post here will help you to decide and to make your own hand sanitiser.

You must purchase “Spiritus” or “Alkohol” from your local Zurich Apotheke (pharmacy) and mix it with other ingredients.

Do not use a high % spirit drink (vodka or similar) because the alcohol % of the mixed sanitiser must be over 60% proof. 

Do not use it on children or if you know you have a skin condition. Try a small patch test rubbing a little onto the back of one hand and leave for 24hrs to see if you have a reaction. 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals.

Rarely, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people.

For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.

To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals.

Ensure good food safety practices at all times.

Those who work on farms or who handle raw meat, milk or animal organs need to take special care.

It is not likely because the virus cannot live for long. A parcel posted from another country will not result in an infection.

A more likely cause could be the courier carrying it to your door and you and that person having some form of contact.

It is advised to avoid contamination by avoiding where possible the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products.

No widespread reports have been made that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected and then spread the virus that causes COVID-19.

One case of a weak positive was reported in Hong Kong. The pet dog was collected from the home of a coronavirus sufferer and had traces of the virus in its mouth and nasal cavities.  

The dog has not gone on to show any symptoms and is believed to have  breathed in/out the virus whilst being in a infected small closed environment. 

The pet dog is currently under observation because the Hong Kong authorities do not want pet owners to panic and want them to be informed after the announcement was made on Feb 26th.

(Content Date Stamp – 28.02.2020)

When originally posted, it was not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, it seemed to behave like other coronaviruses.

Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.

It all depends on the temperature, location of surface and it is recommended to follow good hygiene standards. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Update March 2020

Hard, shiny surfaces such as plastic, stainless steel, benchtops, and likely glass can support infectious virus, expelled in droplets, for up to 72 hours.

On fibrous and absorbent surfaces such as cardboard, paper, fabric and hessian, it becomes inactive more quickly.

Common Points of Transfer 

  • Lift or transport door buttons and controls
  • Money – coins and bank notes
  • Handrails and guard rails – public transport 

Source – The New England Journal of Medicine



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Personal / Travel - Swiss Websites For Coronavirus Information

LATEST Swiss Travel News / Alert - If you need to travel

If you plan to travel please visit the Swiss Travel advisory website. Learn more about Coronavirus and other health alerts.


If you are resident in Switzerland and need the latest news release  (not in English) from the Federal authorities click here and use Deepl or Google Translate

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH ( Division Communicable diseases – English announcements)

Please view the latest news and advisories here



If you are Swiss or resident and abroad remember the resources provided by foreign ministry’s crisis management centre (FDFA) – link to their helpline,

or you can email

What to consider when buying or stocking food for self-isolation - lock down

In the event of a disruption to the supply of food and other stocks for any reason. The Swiss government suggests you should have a supply which can get you through c.7 days.

This may not be applicable to someone in central Zurich at first glance as you have a Migros or a Co-Op nearby. If on the other hand you plan being in a mountain village to ski for a week, you may consider the advice prudent. 

The emergency supply notice suggests that you have stocks of food which also include storable tinned, packaged or frozen food and 9 liters of water per person (a six-pack).

The list provided suggests other foodstuff such as coffee and items which can be enjoyed without cooking such as dried meats, crackers, chocolate, dried fruit and other preserved foods.

It covers a power cut of any duration and you must of course remember a torch, sufficient batteries and any medicinal needs you may have.

It is said that you can get by 30 days without food, but only 3 days without water. Hence the recommendation that you should have 9 liters per person (a common six-pack).

Federal regulations stipulate that the water supply companies must provide the population with a minimal amount of drinking water again from the fourth day of any interruption.


Online Home Shopping Websites For Coronavirus Self-Help or Self-Isolation

No afilliated links -just links:

Example Personal Shopping List For Coronavirus Self – Isolation

Click to view / print for yourself

Switzerland – Coronavirus infoline

+41 58 463 00 00

Line open daily 24 hours

Infoline (ogni giorno 24 ore): +41 58 463 00 00

Ligne infos (tous les jours 24 heures sur 24) : +41 58 463 00 00

Infoline (täglich 24 Stunden): +41 58 463 00 00

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