Portugal extends state of emergency until May 2



Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The Swiss government has said it will ease some of the emergency measures imposed five weeks ago, since the number of Covid-19 cases is slowing down. 

“Five weeks after announcing the restriction measures, the government has decided which measures to remove. The measures we took allowed us to slow down the epidemic, today, the epidemic situation allows us to start to look at the next steps,” Alain Berset, the head of Internal Affairs, said at a news conference on Thursday.

Berset said the first phase of the epidemic “is behind” Switzerland and the next steps will happen in three phases. First, on April 27, hospitals, health centers, dentists, physiotherapy and massage salons can receive non-urgent treatments again. Hairdressers, beauty and tattoo shops and gardening shops will also reopen.

On May 11, the government plans to allow schools to reopen for “mandatory grades,” which includes pre-school through ninth grade. Shops and markets will also be allowed to reopen.

Professional schools and universities will be allowed to reopen on June 8, as well as museums, libraries, botanic gardens, and zoos.

The government said social distancing rules must remain in place throughout this period and added that there is no timeframe for when that could stop.

“We want to avoid having to reintroduce the restrictions,” said Simonetta Sommaruga, president of the Swiss Federation.

“We do not want to endanger all the work we’ve done so far, thanks to the support of the population. That’s why the government invites everyone to continue to respect distancing and hygiene measures,” she added. 



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