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Parliament criticises government over Covid policy

The Green Party parliamentarians stayed away from the debate in the House of Representatives in protest. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

The House of Representatives has approved a declaration calling on the Swiss government to lift Covid restrictions later this month.

This content was published on March 3, 2021 - 11:03
swissinfo.ch/urs

A majority of the chamber came out in favour of the non-binding statement on Wednesday.

Observers say it is not clear what impact the symbolic gesture will have.

During the debate, supporters notably from right-wing and centre-right parties argued that the government must take note of the frustrations of many people about the restrictions.

Opponents on the left said the government policy was based on scientific advice as well as democratic and legal principles.

The political right wants the current restrictions, particularly those affecting restaurants, the events sector and the culture and leisure sector, to be lifted by March 22 regardless of the epidemiological situation.

Infections

The government said it wanted to decide on March 19 how to proceed, but it warned that a hasty re-opening could lead to a new surge in infections.

Latest figures show that the gradual drop in new Covid cases has come to a standstill over the past few days, prompting fears that new strains of the virus could lead to a third wave of infections.

Both parliamentary chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate, will discuss various amendments to the Covid law during the three-week spring session which began on Monday.

On the table are government plans to increase credit packages and loans for companies hit by temporary closures caused by anti-Covid measures.

Other proposals include financial aid for the country’s winegrowers and for sports and culture organisations.

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