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Swiss parliament demands cabinet reopen restaurants and theatres

© Tetiana Soares |

A recent parliamentary vote on whether to issue a formal request to the Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive, to reopen restaurants on 22 March 2021, found a majority of 97 to 90, according to Le Matin.

The main parties supporting the demand were the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) and the PLR (FDP). The Socialist and Green parties were against it.

The formal demand to the Federal Council stipulates:

  • Increased testing and vaccination
  • An end to the gathering limit of 5 people
  • A reopening of restaurants, sports and cultural establishments on 22 March 2021
  • A plan to control spread that doesn’t involve these restrictions

Those in favour of the demand point to inconsistencies in the current restrictions, such as crowded train platforms but empty restaurants. They also point to the costs of keeping things closed. We have sacrificed enough to the virus, said Céline Amaudruz (UDC/SVP).

Those voting against the request called for patience. The pandemic cannot be contained with declarations and dates, said Prisca Birrer-Heimo (PS/SP). Léonore Porchet (Green) said that we cannot discuss this with parties choosing to ignore science and the health of the country. Green party members left the debate, returning later to vote.

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