Government anti-Covid strategy under pressure

Some cantons are reluctant to extend mass testing to schools, preferring to concentrate on "hotspots". Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

Swiss health minister Alain Berset has said he wants weekly Covid-19 testing for 40% of the population as soon as possible, but cantons and businesses are dragging their feet, according to the Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

This content was published on March 21, 2021 - 13:08

Cantons such as Vaud, Valais, Lucerne and Zurich will not decide for several weeks whether they can or even wish to extend mass screening pilot tests to schools and companies, the paper reports. It says several cantons including Zurich and Basel prefer to promote mass testing in Covid-19 “hotspots” rather than in schools.

Big retailers like Migros and Coop, as well as government-linked companies like Swiss Post and the Swiss Federal Railways, are also cautious about whether to introduce mass testing for employees, writes the Sonntagszeitung.

Open letter

Meanwhile, the Swiss business community has sent an open letter calling for the government to take steps to end state intervention in social and economic life, reports the SonntagsBlick newspaper. Business associations are also urging that a digital, forgery-proof passport be available by the end of June to show if a person is Covid-19 free.

Signatories to the open letter include heads of leading business organisations Economiesuisse, the Swiss Trades Association (USAM) and Gastrosuisse, as well as several centre-right parliamentarians.

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