49.2 Overall Score (up 5 since Aug 1st.)


  • 27.8 Public Health
  • 25.2 Financial
  • 88 Fact-Based
  • 27.8 Public Health
  • 25.2 Financial
  • 88 Fact-Based

Switzerland's reliance on facts and an open media drove its score up to the median, helping to counter weak financial support and limited restrictions on social interactions.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Despite high scores in almost every subcategory, Switzerland’s low number of hospital beds lowered its pre-pandemic conditions score.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 40.5%
  • GDP/capita $67,558
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 32.7
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 4
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 91.8
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 33.6

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

Switzerland’s weak public health policy score declined slightly since January, as it continues to struggle with testing and social restrictions.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $311.97
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 538
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Switzerland’s financial response was relatively weak, with limited debt and income support.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 2.3%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 0

Fact-Based Communication

Switzerland has not limited press freedom in response to COVID-19, and has largely relied on science and facts in its communications. However, the country's head of Communicable Diseases has claimed that children cannot be infected by coronavirus.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 1
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

Switzerland's score has increased notably since January, as the country has started to get control of high case and death rates.

  • Total deaths 1,254
  • Death rate per 100K 144.9
  • Total cases 573,815
  • Cases per 100K 9
  • Percent of positive tests 4.8
  • Change in positivity rates -12.3
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Apr 27 Medical practices, dental practices, and hair salons reopen 11.90
2 May 11 Primary and secondary schools, shops and markets, travel agencies, museums, libraries, restaurants, bars, and pubs reopen; exams at educational institutions and some sporting events are allowed; border restrictions are loosened 4.51
3 May 28 Religious services are allowed 2.31
4 Jun 06 Events with up to 300 people are permitted 2.31
5 Jun 22 Events with up to 1,000 people are allowed 2.08
6 Aug 15 Masks mandated on all flights to/from country 29.23
7 Oct 19 Mandate masks for all publicly accessible indoor spaces, limit spontaneous public gatherings to 15 people or less, and reactivate work-from-home recommendations 1,009.52
8 Oct 28 Close discos and dance halls, bars and restaurants will close at 11 pm, prohibit events with 50+ people, sporting/cultural lesiure activities with 15+ people, expand mask mandate to more places 995.54
9 Dec 11 Imposed new restrictions, including shutting down museums, libraries, shops, and markets at 7 pm and Sundays, shutting down restaurants and bars at 7 pm, except in cantons with an improved epidemiological situation, a ban on public events except small religious services and funerals, and a limit of five people for sports and culture activities 593.44
10 Dec 18 Shut down restaurants and cultural/leisure/sports facilities 517.41
11 Dec 21 Entry ban on travelers from UK and South Africa to contain new virus strain; retroactive quarantine for all who arrived recently before ban 1,155.68
12 Jan 06 Extended restrictions until the end of February, removed exemptions for cantons with improving situations 555.54
13 Jan 18 Mandated remote work where possible, closing of non-essential shops, and imposed stricter rules for private events and gatherings 543.41
14 Jan 27 Imposed new travel restrictions, including a negative test requirement for travelers from high risk states or areas, contact tracing for all travelers entering Switzerland, covering testing costs for asymptomatic travelers, and allowing shorter quarantine, conditional on a negative test result on the 7th day 256.74
15 Mar 01 Reopened shops, museums, library reading, outdoor sports and leisure facilities, zoos, and botanical gardens; allowed gatherings with family and friends and sporting and cultural activities up to 15 people outdoors 295.80

Differentiating Factors

  • Swiss government procures 36 million vaccine doses: Following concerns that vaccine rollout in Switzerland has been too slow, the Swiss government has procured additional doses to be delivered in April. The country will then have nearly 36 million doses, despite having a population of just 8.5 million people. Read More
  • Switzerland extends and expands restrictions: Measures including bar, restaurant, and gym closures will be extended until the end of February, with no exceptions granted for cantons with lower infection rates. Read More
  • Major city hospitals fear third wave: Hospitals in the cities of Basel, Bern, Zurich, and Geneva co-signed an open letter calling on the Swiss Federal Council to intervene to avoid hospital overload, fearing that a third wave in early 2021 could devastate hospitals and exceed capacity. Read More
  • Switzerland delivers medical aid to Greece: Aegean islands hosting more than 21,000 refugees and migrants have received delivery of patient-transport vehicles and mobile examination rooms from Switzerland, as part of a $1.7 million support package to Greece for COVID-19 relief. Read More
  • Geneva provides increased minimum wage: As COVID-linked poverty increases, the Swiss government has passed legislation to increase the minimum wage to approximately $4787 a month ($26.67/hour) to support citizens. Read More
  • Major healthcare investment produced surplus supplies: The Swiss federal government facilitated a centralized purchase of medical equipment and PPE that was then distributed to cantons on the basis of need, following concerns that the healthcare system could collapse. Having authorized the use of $2.66 billion, the country now finds itself with a surplus of ventilators and other equipment. Read More
  • Military assisting coronavirus response: Switzerland mobilized 8,000 military members to assist civil authorities and medical personnel with their coronavirus response, including enforcing a strict emergency lockdown. Read More
Compared with EU Neighbors
  • 14.6
    Turkey 2,894,893
    Per 1M

    Turkey has very weak policy, driven by little emergency spending, stimulus, or debt relief, and loosening restrictions. It also has limited press freedom and has conducted minimal testing.

  • 44.1
    Norway 81,305
    Per 1M

    Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.

  • 37.3
    Russia 4,350,728
    Per 1M

    Russia has a relatively weak score, with strong public health policy undone by weak financial support, limitations on press freedom, and spread of misinformation about the pandemic.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million