What are the penalties for breaking Switzerland’s coronavirus rules?

The Swiss Conference of Prosecutors (SSK) has adopted a uniform set of sanctions for non-compliance with the country's Covid-19 restrictions.

What are the penalties for breaking Switzerland’s coronavirus rules?
Police can fine those who break coronavirus rules on the spot. Photo by AFP

The fines will be the same throughout the country, regardless of the canton in which infractions occur.

“The aim of the SSK is to harmonise the application of the law in Switzerland as much as possible”, the organisation said on its website

It added, however, that the final decision “is up to the prosecuting authorities”.

These are the recommended penalties for individual offenders:

  • Avoiding quarantine or isolation: 1,000 to 1,500 francs
  • Not wearing a mask where it is compulsory to do so: 250 francs
  • Gatherings of more than 15 people in public: 100 francs
  • Avoiding medical supervision: 800 to 1,000 francs

For restaurant owners and organisers of events, the fines are as follows:

  • Serving food and drinks to people not seated at a table: 500 francs
  • Not having a health protection plan in place: 2,000 francs
  • Insufficient protection plan: 500 to 1,000 francs
  • Non-compliance with official health rules: 500 francs
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people: 2,000 francs


Other measures:

Earlier in December, the National Council put in place a range of changes to the Covid-19 regulation. 

As a result of the changes, police will now be able to issue on-the-spot fines for ‘mask refusers’, i.e. people who do not comply with the country’s strict coronavirus mask requirement, as well as to those who exceed limits on public meetings and do not respect social distancing rules.

READ MORE: Swiss police can now issue on-the-spot fines for mask refusers 

Previously, police would issue violators with tickets, which would then be forwarded to a magistrate, who would decide how high the penalty would be and whether it would indeed be imposed.

In practice, few fines have been handed out to individuals so far.

However, at least one case was reported by the media in November: a woman in Grenchen, canton Solothurn, was fined 1,500 francs plus 400 francs in administrative costs for breaking her quarantine. 



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REMINDER: What are the fines for breaking shutdown rules in Switzerland?

From failing to wear a mask or taking part in an illegal protest, here's how much you'll be fined for breaching coronavirus measures in Switzerland.

REMINDER: What are the fines for breaking shutdown rules in Switzerland?
Mask requirement is one of many in effect in Switzerland. Photo by AFP

PLEASE NOTE: The fines have since been partially relaxed. Please click here for more information. 

The rules went into effect on January 18th in an effort to rein in the spread of coronavirus infections, including those with the mutated strains, which have been on the increase in recent weeks.

These measures include the closure of bars, restaurants, and all non-essential businesses. Also, there is a limit of up to five people for public and private meetings, along with the working from home order whenever possible.

“Anyone contravening the measures to fight the epidemic will be committing an offence; persons who fail to comply with the rules may be fined between 50 and 200 francs, depending on the offence”, the government said. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are the details of Switzerland’s coronavirus restrictions? 

So what are the penalties for violating the above rules?

  • Organising a private event attended by more than five people: 200 francs
  • Gathering of more than five people in public space: 50 francs
  • Participating in an illegally organised event: 100 francs
  • Not wearing a mask on public transportation or in an airport: 100 francs
  • Not wearing a mask at public demonstration: 100 francs
  • Standing up while consuming in a bar or restaurant: 100 francs
  • Not complying with a quarantine requirement: up to 10,000 francs

Hundreds of fines have already been handed out for breaking Covid-19 rules.

For example, the police in the canton of Zurich imposed around 100 fines in the first week of February alone. Vaud handed 106 fines, while in Geneva, Valais and Thurgau, between 30 and 40 fines were issued in the first days of February.

Most fines have been imposed for exceeding the limit of five people for both public and private gatherings, cantonal police departments report.

READ MORE: Here’s how much you’ll be fined for breaching Switzerland’s coronavirus measures