GENEVA – Switzerland is set to begin a gradual reopening on 27 April after the Federal Council agreed to ease measures against the novel coronavirus.
This comes as authorities report that of the more than 252,000 tests made, 34,040 or 13% of cases have resulted positive for Covid-19. The number of reported deaths tallies over 1,600 at time of writing; however, the number announced by federal authorities tops at 1,300 due to reporting delays.
Who reopens today?
A limited number of businesses and non-essential medical services can reopen if “there is only a low level of direct contact […], precautionary measures can easily be put in place” and there is no “significant movement of people”.
Hospitals can resume non-urgent procedures, and outpatient centres, beauty salons, massage parlours, home improvement shops, garden centres and florists are also open for business. Some dentists in the area however, have delayed reopening until early May except for urgent cases.
The federal government has imposed sanitary measures on businesses reopening to avoid the proliferation of microorganisms such as legionella which can grow in damp hose pipes when not used for several weeks.
To mask or not to mask?
Disposable masks are once again available in drugstores; however, several sewing workshops also offer washable/reusable cloth masks.
Bus service including France-Geneva route
As the city and canton reopen, the Geneva public transportation system TPG will operate on a Sunday schedule while guaranteeing service during peak hours. Routes that usually don’t run on Sundays will not operate on weekdays either with a few notable exceptions,
- Line F (Cornavin – Ferney, Gex) operating from 06:00 to 09:00 only but with afternoon rush hour service assured.
- Lines 39, 43, 64 (Ferney-Bois-Candide), 66, 68 and D, M and N to Saint-Julien-en-Genevois to operate on Saturday schedule .
- Noctambus services (city and regional) and express lines continue to be suspended.
- Social distancing measures on buses continue in effect; in particular, entry from the front is not allowed on buses and trams where the driver is not in an isolated cabin.