A petition aimed at pressuring the federal government into ending coronavirus restrictions has collected more than 220,000 signatures.
The petition was started by members of the young liberals party (FDP/PLR) in Zurich. It is supported by the Swiss Peoples Party (SVP/UDC) and USAM/SGV, a small business association.
Petition organisers demand restaurants, bars, leisure and sports facilities and shops be allowed to open and restrictions on events be lifted. They point to the costs of the restrictions, which include depression, loneliness, suicide, job losses and company ruin, in the hotel, gastronomy, arts, culture, travel and events industries in particular. In addition, they highlight the billions being added national debt.
Speaking to RTS, Leroy Bächtold, one of the organisers said they plan to send the petition to the Federal Council shortly before 17 February 2021, a date when the Federal Council has said it will decide whether or not to extend restrictions beyond the end of February. The hope is that the petition will influence their decision.
Slow progress on vaccinating the population is not helping the situation. By 12 February 2021, only 482,423 doses of vaccine had been administered in Switzerland, according to FOPH. At the current rate it would take years to vaccinate Switzerland’s population.