For members


EXPLAINED: What is Switzerland’s 2G-Plus rule?

When the Federal Council announced the ‘2G’ rule to go into effect in Switzerland on December 20th, it also referred to ‘2G-Plus’ in certain situations. What is this ‘plus’ rule and when must it be used?

The ‘2G-Plus’ rule applies in discos and other venues where sitting at a table is not possible. Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash
The ‘2G-Plus’ rule applies in discos and other venues where sitting at a table is not possible. Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash

If you haven’t been reading news lately and are confused about what all these Gs stand for, here’s a quick explanation.

Until recently, most countries in Europe adhered to the ‘3G’ rule, which in German means Geimpft, Genesen, Getestet (vaccinated, recovered, tested).

3G-compliant venues would mandate that attendees needed to be either vaccinated, recovered or have tested negative for the virus. 

However, as the epidemiological situation got worse, countries like Austria, Germany,  France, and now also Switzerland, adopted the ‘2G’ measure, dropping “tested” from the rule.

This means that people who have not been fully vaccinated or have not recovered from Covid within the past four months, cannot access indoor venues and events such as restaurants — as long as food can be consumed while sitting at a table — cultural establishments, as well as sports and leisure facilities.

READ MORE: 2G: Switzerland targets unvaccinated with new Covid measures

In practical terms, this means that people wanting to access indoor venues and activities will have to show their Covid certificate to prove they are eligible under one of the two categories.

Those who are unvaccinated or not recovered from Covid, but merely tested, are no longer allowed entry under the new rules.

READ MORE: ‘It strengthens the fight’: How Switzerland reacted to new Covid rules

What about the ‘2G-Plus’?

One aspect of the new measures in place since December 20th is the 2G-Plus rule. 

It is intended to prevent the spread of the virus in places where certain protective measures can’t be maintained.

It applies in situations where the requirement to be seated while eating or drinking can’t be met — for example in bars and clubs — and masks can’t be worn.

“In settings where masks cannot be worn, such as brass band practice, or where it is not possible to eat or drink while seated, admission will be limited to vaccinated or recovered persons who also present a negative test result,” the Federal Council said when it announced the new rules on Friday.

However, “people who within the last four months have been fully vaccinated, received a booster or recovered from COVID-19 do not have to take a further test”, authorities said.

What does this mean?

if you are have not been inoculated against Covid or recovered from it within the last four months, you need a test (PCR or antigen) to go to any places where seating is not guaranteed and where masks can’t be worn.

The same applies if you have been fully vaccinated or recovered more than four months ago and have not had a booster shot since then.

Since December 18th, testing has again been free in Switzerland. 

Covid testing free again in Switzerland: What you need to know

These rules will be in place until January 24th, 2022, at the earliest.

Member comments

  1. How is swimming in a chlorinated pool where covid transmission is impossible considered 2g+ but eating and talking in indoor restaurants considered only 2g? It’s absurd and these incongruities lead to less respect overall for the rules. Pools are safe and should be accessible at least until we have had the chance to get boosters.

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For members


Should we be concerned by the re-emergence of Covid-19 in Switzerland?

As new coronavirus variants have been detected in Switzerland in past weeks and the government is preparing to re-start vaccinations against the disease, you may be wondering whether Covid will become a major public health issue again.

Should we be concerned by the re-emergence of Covid-19 in Switzerland?

On Monday, Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said it will start vaccinating at-risk people against Covid in mid-October.

According to internal documents, authorities are ordering 1.3 million vaccine doses from each of manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer. In addition, a delivery from Novavax and another from Moderna are expected in October, according to CH Media.

READ ALSO: Switzerland’s Covid vaccine programme to restart in autumn

What Covid variants have been detected in Switzerland and are they dangerous?

Currently, there are two: the Eris variant (EG.5) and Pirola (BA.2.86),

Pirola spreads faster than Eris and is under increased surveillance by health authorities.

While both variants are contagious, so far there are no signs that they are as dangerous as Alpha and Delta strains that had become predominant during the pandemic’s peak.

“Compared to the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, the situation has changed significantly: among people under 65 who do not have risk factors, the probability of a serious form of Covid-19 is minimal,” FOPH said on Monday. “Among vulnerable people, on the other hand, the risk is significantly higher.”

FOPH identifies ‘vulnerable’ people as those over 65, as well as individuals suffering from cancer, diabetes, heart problems, serious respiratory impairments, and other chronic diseases, along with those whose immunity system is weakened.

What can we expect, Covid-wise, in the fall and winter?

According to FOPH, the variants currently in circulation present new mutations which “partially escape the immunity acquired by the population. Additionally, the protection afforded by vaccination (or previous infection) gradually diminishes over time.”

Due to these two factors, to which will be added increased contact in indoor spaces, the FOPH expects an increase in the number of infections this fall and winter.

Overall, however, epidemiologist Andreas Cerny expects fewer serious cases than in previous years, especially among people who are not in high-risk groups (as mentioned above).

In terms of measures, keeping distance, testing, or wearing a mask are not currently on the agenda for population at large.

However, according to Christoph Berger, head of Switzerland’s Vaccination Commission, it would make sense if everyone took precautionary measures for themselves.

“Anyone who is contagious should either stay at home, wear a mask, or keep their distance to protect others,” he said. “You should use common sense. If you cough badly, you shouldn’t go visit your grandmother.”

Why is Covid still around?

“Just as there are always new epidemic waves with flu or other viral respiratory diseases, Covid infections are also increasing from time to time, probably several times a year for the time being and especially in autumn. We have to come to terms with that,” epidemiologist Christian Althaus from the University of Bern said in an interview.

Should you get vaccinated?

Whether you have already had Covid vaccines in the past (one vaccine and three boosters have been given in Switzerland since the end of 2021), or haven’t had any shots at all, FOPH said the new doses will protect vulnerable people from developing a serious form of the disease.

Will the vaccine be mandatory?
As during previous coronavirus waves, the government will not make vaccination mandatory.
It will remain a recommendation.

Who will pay for the vaccination?

FOPH has not said, but in previous campaigns, shots were free of charge for residents of Switzerland.