After the Federal Council ordered a lockdown on 16 March 2020 and hardened its measures to combat the pandemic, a gradual relaxation is now envisaged, starting on 26 April 2020. Recent weeks have brought a stop to the exponential course of the infection, allowing Switzerland to enter this new phase of pandemic control. To protect health, the rapid expansion of testing capacities will become a priority, along with compliance with hygiene measures.
The economic effects of the lockdown so far are serious, with a sharp rise in unemployment and monthly costs in the double-digit billion range. It is therefore more than worthwhile to draw up an exit roadmap. As a general rule, all operational activities in the economy should be allowed again. As a basic principle, self-declaration bshould apply, with companies committing themselves to comply with federal hygiene rules.
Schools should be reopened gradually, too, based on the age of pupils and their ability to organise themselves.
In the political arena, direct democratic and parliamentary decision-making must be restored and a roadmap for the long-term reduction of the federal debt be presented. The federal and cantonal parliaments should meet again as soon as possible – virtually if necessary – and the suspended federal referendum of 17 May should take place in summer 2020.
Switzerland’s digital transformation must be driven forward consistently, with the expansion of the telecommunications network a priority.
Last but not least: preparations for a comprehensive vaccination of the population must be tackled in a timely manner. Bureaucratic hurdles for the introduction of a vaccine must be dismantled at an early stage and logistics for the delivery and broad administration of a corona vaccine arranged.
Given the pandemic, clear communication between the authorities is essential. That promotes popular understanding for the temporary restriction on civil liberties and creates planning security for companies. The most important parameters affecting the authorities’ decisions in pandemic management have to be known and accessible.