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- 37.3 Public Health
- 27.1 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.
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 ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)
Public Health Directives
Switzerland’s public health policy is relatively weak, driven down primarily by limited stay-at-home orders and low levels of testing and emergency healthcare funds.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 2
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 0
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $312.20
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 381.5
- Contact tracing 2
Switzerland’s financial response was relatively weak, with limited debt and income support.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 10.5%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 0
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 Jan 1
Switzerland has a very poor score in this category, with a very high case rate, a slightly lower death rate, and a median positivity rate.
- Total deaths 7,704
- Death rate per 100K 890.2
- Total cases 452,296
- Cases per 100K 52,261
- Percent of positive tests 17.1
- Change in positivity rates +13.5
|1||Apr 27||Medical practices, dental practices, and hair salons reopen||20.14|
|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||5.99|
|3||May 28||Religious services are allowed||1.68|
|4||Jun 06||Events with up to 300 people are permitted||1.83|
|5||Jun 22||Events with up to 1,000 people are allowed||2.96|
|6||Aug 15||Masks mandated on all flights to/from country||24.31|
|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||309.05|
|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||724.55|
|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||484.20|
|10||Dec 18||Shut down restaurants and cultural/leisure/sports facilities||497.80|
|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||485.85|
- 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
- WEF finds Switzerland well-positioned to recover from COVID: A new report released by the World Economic Forum in mid-December measures how countries are performing on the road to recovery, ranking Switzerland third out of 40 countries due to its labor policies, social protection, and digital economy. Read More
- Former president dies of coronavirus: Former President Flavio Cotti died in December of COVID-19, in Locarno. He was known for bringing Switzerland closer to international institutions and bringing the WTO to Geneva in 1995. 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
- Swiss economy enters recession: The pandemic has triggered Switzerland's worst quarterly downturn in forty years with the service and tourism sector seeing a 54.2 percent drop in output. However, economists are confident that recovery will be swift, returning the economy to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2021. Read More
Compared with EU Neighbors
Per 1M 21,093
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.
Per 1M 436
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.
Per 1M 56,798
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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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- 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
- 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