Covid live: Scotland faces ‘potential tsunami’ of cases; Czech Republic makes vaccines

Switzerland has proposed further tightening restrictions on public life in a bid to break the momentum of rising Covid cases that threaten to overwhelm its health care system, saying a limited lockdown may be needed.

The government asked regional authorities to consider expanding the requirement for proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus for access to many indoor venues.

“In order to be ready should further measures be necessary, the Federal Council is sending two variants of proposed measures… for consultation by 14 December,” the cabinet said. “All measures restrict social and economic life and affect not only unvaccinated but also vaccinated and recovered persons.”

Under one proposal, vaccinated individuals would additionally need to show a negative test to enter places like bars, restaurants and discotheques where masks cannot be worn.

Under an alternate proposal, it would entirely close such locations.

Switzerland has been trying to curb public activity without resorting to another lockdown, as neighbouring Austria has done.

Switzerland and tiny neighbour Liechtenstein have reported more than 1.1 million confirmed Covid infections – more than a tenth of the population – and more than 11,000 deaths since the pandemic broke out last year.

The government said it wanted to limit private indoor gatherings to five persons if one of them, including a child, was unvaccinated, while up to 30 would be allowed to gather indoors if all were vaccinated.

It would also require working from home, compared to the current recommendation to do so.

Should the situation worsen further, the government said it would consider limiting all private gatherings to five persons.

A relatively low two out of three residents are fully vaccinated, including three-quarters of the population aged 12 and above, but resistance to the jabs remains common.

More than 80% of intensive care beds are occupied, forcing some hospitals to use triage to see which patients get a spot.

While ski lifts continue to operate normally, operators on Friday introduced new capacity limits for large cabins. They also require customers to wear masks in closed cabins and maintain physical distance in waiting areas.

Read More: Covid live: Scotland faces ‘potential tsunami’ of cases; Czech Republic makes vaccines

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