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Switzerland and Germany point to Wales’ ‘firebreak’ lockdown as an example to follow

28 Oct 2020 2 minute read
German Chancellor Angela Markel. Picture by Ralf Roletschek (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Germany and Switzerland are discussing following in Wales’ footsteps and introducing short ‘fire break’ lockdowns in order to bring Covid-19 under control.

Switzerland’s Federal Council will speak on Wednesday about scenarios for how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, with short lockdown along the lines of Wales as one option.

President Simonetta Sommaruga and Health Minister Alain Berset cited Wales as an example of a country where such a lockdown was being attempted.

Such a scenario could be a solution for Switzerland “to prevent a complete lockdown,” Olivia Keizer, an epidemiologist at the University of Geneva, said.

“At the same time, a longer-term strategy is needed: Otherwise there is a risk of a new increase in cases after the circuit break,” she said.



Meanwhile, Christian Drosten, who directs the Institute of Virology at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, recommended Wales’ approach as an option for Germany.

“If the stress is too great, you have to take a break,” he told NDR Info.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing regional leaders to agree to a partial lockdown in Germany which would see restaurants and bars closed but keep schools open.

There was a stark difference in terminology compared to Wales, however – with the mini-lockdown called a ‘waterbreaker’ rather than a ‘firebreak’.


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