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Switzerland sets out exit strategy for easing coronavirus restrictions

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Closed restaurant in Geneva
Closed restaurant in Geneva   -   Copyright  AFP
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Switzerland plans to take the first steps towards relaxing coronavirus restrictions from March 1st.

Non-essential shops, museums and libraries will reopen and private events will be allowed outside for up to 15 people. The obligation will still be to work from home.

The exit strategy is primarily about easing the situation for children and young people and the government says it will review making further relaxations each month as long as infection rates remain low.

Health Minister Alain Berset said the situation in Switzerland is improving but urged caution. "It remains a risk, but it is improving, we have projections for the next weeks and months, we can therefore begin to relax the restrictions, slowly, carefully. We try to do it reasonably, and if we pay attention now, then we'll manage the next step at the beginning of April then beyond."

Restaurants are bars are to remain closed. Only terraces will be allowed to reopen from April 1st with more extensive openings of restaurants planned after the Easter holidays which takes us up to mid-April.

Nearly 543,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Switzerland (population 8.6 million), while more than 9,000 people have died. More than 100,000 people have already received both their anti-Covid vaccine doses.