Swiss Vote to Keep Covid Pass to Help Avoid Lockdowns
(Bloomberg) -- Swiss voters backed the government’s use of Covid-19 certificates for entry into theaters and restaurants despite vociferous campaigning by skeptics, who consider them an infringement of civil liberties.
Support for the measure was at 62%. Polls for the broadcaster SRF had indicated the law, which also covers financial aid to pandemic-stricken companies, was supported by a comfortable majority.
The passes -- which show if someone has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered from the coronavirus -- are hotly opposed by some in Switzerland and have provoked occasionally violent demonstrations.
With Europe once again a hotspot for Covid infections and facing the new omicron variant, continued use of the certificates is seen as key if Switzerland wants to avoid another lockdown. Vaccination rates in the country are among the lowest in Western Europe.
Although the case load is rising, the federal government on Wednesday declined to implement any additional national restrictions. Instead it urged cantons, or states, to adjust rules locally, including requiring more mask wearing. Hospital admissions, while up, are well below levels seen last winter.
More than half the Swiss population, or 53.1%, favors a mandatory Covid-19 vaccine, according to a poll for the SonntagsBlick newspaper. Plus, almost two-thirds of the 1,003 people surveyed support imposing further restrictions on the unvaccinated.
Voters on Sunday also backed a measure designed to improve pay for nurses. A proposal to reform the way judges get selected failed.
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