Extending the state of emergency – Berset is ready for tough times

The health minister announced that the bans would remain in place. But resistance is growing among the commoners and associations.

It is «illusory that we can change a lot towards April 20th», so Health Minister Alain Berset.

Photo: Anthony Anex (Keystone)

Of the April 19: Many people cling to this date, hoping for a quick end to the state of emergency. The rigid measures with which the Federal Council intends to contain the corona epidemic apply until April 19. The Federal Council will have to decide at its next meetings whether the shops and schools will reopen and people can meet again.

Health minister Alain Berset, meanwhile, seems willing to get Switzerland in tune with the presumed result of this decision. A return to normalcy should not be expected in the near future, the social democrat in Interview with the «Sunday newspaper» clear. It is «illusory that we can change a lot towards April 20th», says Berset literally. In any case, there will be no quick exit, but a transition phase with partial easing. However, this should only be considered if there are significantly fewer Covid patients entering hospitals and especially intensive care units. According to Berset, it is not possible to predict when this time will come.

Gössi wants a sign

On the civil side, however, the pressure to relax the rules is increasing. FDP President Petra Gössi ventured furthest ahead in the «NZZ on Sunday». «I request that the elementary schools, especially at the lower and middle levels, start operating again after the spring break», decreed the Schwyz national councilor. It needs one «perspective» on the part of politics. Gössi therefore also wants all shops that comply with the federal hygiene regulations to be able to reopen.

The FDP is thus approaching the SVP, which has long been an end to the lockdown demands. A «positive sign» In view of the billion dollar economic damage, the employers’ association and the industrial association Swissmem, like their presidents in the «Sunday newspaper» explained.

The trade union federation is more cautious, as it does not want to see the health of employees at risk. The SP also refuses to dictate the course to the Federal Council, as party leader Christian Levrat says on request: «Public health measures should not be adopted by parties and associations.» Gössi’s demand for school resumption is succinctly commented by Levrat: «Politicians shouldn’t start playing hobby epidemiologists least of all when it comes to protecting our children.»

Nevertheless, it is questionable whether the Federal Council is simply the current regime Not flanked into the extension. It seems more plausible that it will extend the measures beyond April 19 that he also draws the first contours of an exit plan.

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