George Russell in Hong Kong
Switzerland’s executive body, the Federal Council, on Sunday introduced new restrictions to counter what it called a “rapid rise in coronavirus infections”.
From Monday, gatherings of more than 15 persons are prohibited, while wearing masks is compulsory in “publicly accessible indoor areas”, including in all railway stations, airports and at bus and tram stops.
The mask mandate also applies to shops, shopping centres, hotels, banks, post offices, museums, libraries, cinemas and other venues.
Switzerland has detected an average of 1,771 new daily cases in the past week, and is one of the few countries to record more than 1,000 daily cases.
The Federal Council, in an English-language statement on its website, said it recommended employees work from home.
According to the Federal Office of Public Health, 74,422 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Switzerland and Liechtenstein since the epidemic began, and 1,823 have died.
Restaurants, bars and clubs remain open, but food and drink can only be consumed while seated.
“There will be closings,” Alexander Bücheli of the Zurich Bar and Club Commission, an industry group, told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.