While the people have just accepted a revision of the Covid-19 law, Parliament is putting the work back on the job. It is about renewing the legal bases allowing economic aid until the end of 2022. The UDC is against a new modification of the law.
Most of the provisions of the law are due to end in December 2021. But the current health situation, further worsened with the arrival of the omicron variant, does not suggest a normalization as rapid as hoped. The Federal Council therefore wishes to have all the cards in hand to manage a future crisis.
The extension requests until the end of 2022 relate to sport, culture and health. They concern aid already in place, such as allowances for loss of earnings (APG) Covid-19, indemnities in the event of reduced working hours (RHT), special measures provided for unemployment indemnities, extension support for cultural actors.
On the other hand, the Federal Council does not want to renew aid under hardship, pleading for a return to ordinary support instruments. A proposal that will be discussed at the National. Elected officials will also discuss the criteria to be used to decide on access restrictions to establishments and businesses accessible to the public as well as to events.
The revision does not affect the provisions regulating the health certificate, criticized by part of the population. These are already valid until the end of 2022. It is the Council of States which will begin the debates on Wednesday, followed by the National Thursday.
The SVP has already taken a stand against this revision. “The law encourages another negligent round of federal spending, with hundreds of millions of francs to be spent again on culture, sport or even the extension of short-time work,” the Conservative party wrote in a November 19 statement. The other parties agree with the general objective of the Federal Council, subject to a few nuances.
Declared urgent, the Covid-19 law entered into force on September 26, 2020. It has already been amended three times, on December 18, 2020, March 19, 2021 and June 18, 2021. The March changes, submitted to a referendum, come to be accepted in the vote (62%). The people also confirmed the original version of the Covid-19 law last June (60.2%).