Corona and Democracy - Switzerland

On this page, we are collecting information on the effects of the measures taken to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus on democracy in Switzerland.


Information on COVID-19 measures and democracy

Type of measures Measures & sources
Limitations to freedom of movement
  • All public and private gatherings of more than 5 people have been banned.
  • Border checks with Germany, France and Austria have been instituted, only Swiss residents are allowed to enter the country.

   16 April:

  • The government announced a three-stage easing of restrictions starting 27 April, then 11 May and finally 8 June.

   15 May:

  • Some of the travel restrictions with Germany and Austria have been lifted.

   27 May:

  • Federal Council announced that the borders would be open again for Schengen travellers on 6 July.
Limitations to electoral rights
  • The national voting day, originally planned for 17 May, has been postponed to an unspecified future date.

18 March:

  • Municipal vote in Neuchâtel and Tinicio will not take place

17 May:

  • The federal popular vote will not take place
Limitation to civil rights


Risks to data security
  • Concerns over privacy and use of data concerning the Covid-19 tracing app lead Swiss House of Representatives to approve a proposal urging the government to prepare a bill to ensure the app is defined under Swiss law.
Limitations to freedom of information


Emergency powers for government
  • 16 March: the Swiss Federal Council declared an "extraordinary situation" under the Federal Law of Epidemics. It allows the Federal Government to order all necessary measures for parts of or the entire country, including the right to overrule measures that were ordered by cantons and to deviate from all existing Federal laws.
Corona laws - full text


Last updated on 28.05.2020


Please note that we are constantly updating the information under rapidly changing circumstances, the information on this page should not be taken to be a complete overview of measures in a country. 

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