1. Measures that apply to the whole of Switzerland
  2. Additional measures in Basel-Stadt

The Federal Council took several Swiss-wide measures against coronavirus in October 2020 and February 2021. The Canton of Basel-Stadt has ordered additional measures that go further than those of the Federal Council (cf. tab box attached). 

The Federal Council passed a further stage of relaxation at its meeting of 26 May 2021.

From Monday, 31 May 2021, the following will apply

Compulsory mask wearing

  • On public transport
  • On platforms or in railway stations, airports or other entrance areas for public transport
  • All individuals must wear a face mask in all publicly accessible areas of businesses and facilities that are still allowed to open. This applies to indoor and outdoor areas.
  • In busy pedestrianised areas and any public spaces where the required distance cannot be maintained
  • In the workplace, as soon as two people are working in the same room 
  • In schools from secondary level II

Who is exempt?

  • Children under 12 years of age and people who, for example for medical reasons, are unable to wear a mask are exempt from compulsory mask wearing.

What are masks for?

Events (new)

Events with an audience are possible with restrictions. The maximum number of attendees is limited to

  • 300 people outdoors (e.g. football matches or open-air concerts)
  • 100 people indoors (e.g. cinemas, theatres or concerts)

Capacity is also restricted to a maximum of half of the capacity of the venue. Seats no longer need to be allocated. Masks and distancing are sufficient. A distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained between attendees, or a seat must be left empty. At events with an audience, eating and drinking in the seats is permitted if contact details are collected from all attendees.

Events without an audience, such as club events and guided tours, are permitted indoors and outdoors with a maximum of 50 people. This also applies to private events such as weddings or birthday parties that are not held in private premises. 

  • The following are exempt from the restrictions: 
    • Funerals among family and close friends
    • Assemblies of legislative bodies at federal, cantonal and local level (no restrictions on the number of people)
  • Restrictions no longer apply to gatherings of people in public spaces.
  • Further information under events and services

Major events with over 1,000 people (new)

The re-opening plan consists of three steps.

1st step: Pilot events from 1 June 2021

Pilot events are possible from 1 June. Indoor events are limited to a maximum of 600 people. Pilot events outdoors can be attended by up to 1,000 people. Each canton can hold five pilot events. Compulsory mask wearing when seated is no longer required for outdoor events.

2nd step: Major events from 1 July 2021

Major events will be possible again from 1 July. Indoor events are limited to a maximum of 3,000 people. By contrast, major outdoor events can be attended by a maximum of 5,000 people with compulsory seating and at a maximum of two-thirds of the venue’s capacity. A maximum of 3,000 people are permitted at outdoor events with standing room, e.g. at open air concerts, with mask wearing and at half of the venue’s capacity.

Only people who have been fully vaccinated, who have recovered from Covid-19 or who can produce a negative test result can be admitted to major events. The Covid certificate should be applied as soon as it is available.

3rd step: Major events with 10,000 people from 20 August 2021

Major events with a maximum of 10,000 people can be held from 20 August. Restrictions on capacity no longer apply to indoor spaces. There will also be no restrictions on audience numbers for outdoor events with compulsory seating. The third step is closely linked to entering into the stabilisation phase where all people who wish to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated.

Private events (new)

  • Indoor meetings among family and friends are permitted with a maximum of 30 people. This number includes children. 
  • Outdoor meetings among family and friends are permitted with a maximum of 50 people. The obligation to draw up and implement a safety policy does not apply.

Sports and cultural activities (new)

  • A maximum of 50 people, instead of 15, can now do amateur level sport together. Spectators are permitted. The rules for public events then apply. Team sports matches are only permitted outside. Contact sports such as dancing in couples or Swiss wrestling are only permitted indoors without masks in consistent groups of four people. The defined area for low-impact sports indoors (e.g. yoga) is changing from 15 to 10 square metres per person. 
  • Thermal spas and wellness facilities are allowed to open again. 15 square metres per person applies as standard. The activities can be carried out without masks, but distancing must be practised. The same rules apply to indoor swimming pools.
  • Masks and distancing are required in indoor spaces. However, exemptions are provided for activities where masks cannot be worn, e.g. endurance training in fitness centres or choir singing. Stricter distancing guidelines will apply in these exceptional cases.
  • Sports involving physical contact are still not permitted in indoor spaces and are only permitted in outdoor spaces if masks are worn.
  • Sports and cultural activities among children and young people aged up to 20 years (2001) are permitted without restrictions. 
  • Children’s and youth choirs are allowed to sing.
  • Open child and youth work offers, such as youth clubs, are also accessible again.

Amateur culture

  • As for the rules concerning sport, the maximum group size in the cultural sector is also increasing to 50 people. Amateur cultural performers can perform again. The rules for public events then apply. The defined area for brass band music is changing from 25 to 10 square metres per person. Outdoor amateur and professional choral concerts are permitted again.


  • Restaurants can also seat guests at indoor tables again from Monday, 31 May. The following apply: Distancing or screening, a maximum of four people per table, collection of contact details from all guests and compulsory seating.
  • Tables of six are now possible on terraces. The curfew between 23.00 and 06.00 is being lifted. Masks do not have to be worn when seated at a table, but must be worn when moving around the restaurant – indoors and outdoors. Masks are compulsory for staff.
  • Further information under events and services

Shops and markets

All shops can reopen, but the number of customers will be limited

Opening hours of publicly accessible facilities and businesses

  • Publicly accessible recreational and leisure businesses will be able to reopen their indoor spaces in a similar way to shops and museums. Zoos and botanic gardens can therefore also fully reopen. Masks must be worn and the necessary distance maintained at all times in indoor spaces.


Face-to-face lessons are possible again with restrictions outside of schools providing compulsory education and secondary II level. Face-to-face events at colleges and universities are no longer restricted to a maximum of 50 people. The prerequisite for this is a testing concept and the approval of the canton. There are no longer any restrictions on capacity. Compulsory mask wearing and distancing continue to apply.

Compulsory working from home

The obligation to work from home is changing to a recommendation to work from home for establishments that do weekly tests. Since 18 January 2021, employers have been required to instruct employees to work from home where the type of activity allows and where working from home is possible with reasonable effort. The regulation for protecting particularly high-risk individuals in the workplace is being extended.

Employers do not have to compensate employees for any electricity / rent costs, for example, since the order is only temporary.

Additional measures will be enacted at the workplace in cases where working from home is not possible or is only possible sometimes: To protect employees, masks are compulsory in indoor spaces wherever there is more than just one person in a room. Maintaining a large distance between workplaces in the same room is now no longer sufficient.

Furthermore, the dispensation from compulsory mask wearing is being made more precise at the request of the conference of heads of Departments of Health [Gesundheitsdirektorenkonferenz - GDK] and on the basis of experiences gathered in the course of enforcement: A medical certificate from a doctor or psychotherapist is required as proof of medical reasons; a medical certificate may only be issued if this is indicated for the person concerned.

Ordinance on Measures During the Special Situation to combat the COVID-19 Epidemic

Press release of the Federal Council of 26/05/2021

Press release of the Federal Council of 14/04/2021

Press release of the Federal Council of 19/03/2021

Press release of the Federal Council of 24/02/2021

Press release of the Federal Council of 13/01/2021

Press release of the Federal Council of 11/12/20

Press release of the Federal Council of 28/10/2020

Press release of the Federal Council of 18/10/2020

The following measures also apply in the Canton of Basel-Stadt:

Changes will apply from Monday, 1 March 2021(in accordance with the Ordinance on Additional Measures of the Canton of Basel-Stadt against the Covid 19 Epidemic of 19 January 2021, also see Ordinance and media release from 24 February 2021 and media release from 14 April 2020). 

Compulsory mask wearing

  • On the sites and in the indoor spaces of all state and private schools (including daycare facilities), universities and colleges and other educational establishments.
  • Masks are also compulsory for extracurricular use of school premises, for example by sport or music associations and carnival cliques, provided that it is compatible with the activities in question
  • Masks must also be worn in lessons from primary class 5, in secondary schools, grammar schools, the FMS and vocational colleges
  • Exemptions apply to nurseries and daycare facilities, people who cannot wear face masks, e.g. for medical reasons, or if teachers keep a distance of 1.5 metres
  • More information on schools and daycare facilities

What are masks for?


Hot-Spots (e.g. Steinenvorstadt)

To prevent an uncontrolled rise in local infection figures in areas that are known to be hotspots, the Government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt has passed a new paragraph in the cantonal Covid-19-Ordinance. In accordance with the new § 3d (Additional Measures), the cantonal physician can order special protective measures in hotspots, in particular general compulsory mask wearing in the local area or a local ban on consuming food and beverages on common ground. These special protective measures are planned for Steinenvorstadt. Food and beverages may not be consumed on common ground outside of the designated bar and restaurant areas in Steinenvorstadt. The authorities would like to thank the restaurants and patrons for adhering to the safety policies and guidelines including those requiring them to remain seated.

This regulation will initially apply until 30 June 2021.

General hygiene rules and codes of conduct

  • Keep 1.5 metres’ distance
    Infection with coronavirus can result from close contact with an infected person for an extended time. Distancing is therefore an important measure for protecting against coronavirus. By keeping the required distance (1.5 metres), you can protect yourself and others against infection. For example, this applies to queuing at the till, in the canteen or in meetings. You can keep a distance from others on public transport by avoiding commuting times in the morning and evening.
  • Wear a mask if distancing isn’t possible
  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • General recommendations (see below)

FOPH: Protective measures

Quarantine obligation

General recommendations

  • Avoid coming into close contact with other people, especially if they have acute respiratory infections, keep a distance of 1.5 metres between you and the person you are talking to, do not shake hands, do not greet them with a hug or kiss.
  • Even though it may sound simple, it is essential that you: Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or hand sanitizer - this is one of the most effective ways of stopping the virus from spreading.
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and place it in the bin immediately. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve (not your hands).
  • If you have symptoms (see "Testing"): stay at home! Do not go out in public! Contact a doctor or healthcare facility by telephone and ask whether you should be tested. Read the instructions on "self-isolation" and follow them consistently.
  • Using public transport should be avoided if at all possible, especially if you are in the at-risk group.
  • Wear a mask if distancing isn’t possible.
  • Avoid gatherings of people.
  • Do not look after groups of more than five children.
  • Go shopping outside of busy times or have your shopping delivered.
  • Avoid business and private meetings unless they are absolutely necessary.
  • Reduce visits by family, friends and acquaintances to institutions such as care and nursing homes, as well as facilities for people with disabilities. Pay particularly close attention to the hygiene rules and codes of conduct during visits.