The reopening of restaurants must be included in the law

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The reopening of restaurants, sports, cultural, leisure and entertainment establishments from March 22 must be enshrined in the Covid-19 law. This was decided by a narrow majority on Saturday by the National Economy and Royalties Commission.

The committee proposes, by 12 votes to 11 and 1 abstention, to supplement the Covid-19 law with two articles, like what had been proposed to it by the Commission for Social Security and Public Health of the National Council (CSSS -NOT).

The majority of the committee is of the opinion that the epidemiological situation allows the reopening of the establishments concerned and that it would be “irresponsible” to maintain such severe restrictions on the social and economic life of the country.

A minority proposes to reject these two provisions. In his view, these risk preventing the Federal Council from reacting flexibly to the development of the pandemic.

In addition, the committee proposes that the National Council ask the Federal Council to make further relaxations. The intensification of testing and vaccination campaigns should make it possible to move in this direction, she believes.

After the openings requested on March 22, it is a question of repealing the rule limiting gatherings to 5 people in confined spaces as well, of authorizing the use of terraces for the consumption of take-out meals and of guaranteeing the safety of planning for major cultural and sporting events.

The committee proposes to allow the Federal Council to order, “in duly justified exceptional cases and for a maximum period of 90 days”, measures such as the closure of public establishments or the general obligation to telework.

Testing costs

It also proposes that the public be informed of the measures taken by the Federal Council against the pandemic exclusively by the Federal Council and Parliament. The Confederation’s scientific task force should therefore no longer speak publicly. Finally, it approves the proposal of its counterpart of the States providing that the Confederation supports the implementation of the Covid-19 tests and assumes the uncovered costs related to these tests.

The committee also proposes that the Federal Council be able to allow the cantons showing a positive development and a test or vaccine strategy to relax the control measures.