On 30 May 2021, Alain Berset, Switzerland’s health minister said in an interview on RTS that he thought a return to normality could be possible in August 2021 if vaccinations continue as hoped.
On 31 May 2021, Switzerland entered the stabilisation phase, the second last stage of its return to normality. Restaurants began welcoming guests inside and larger private gatherings of up to 30 people were permitted.
Over recent weeks, the numbers of Covid-19 infections and related deaths have dropped significantly. This is the fruit of a huge effort over winter, said Berset. Every stage of reopening is a risk, and we have been criticised for that. But the aim of the Federal Council has always been to return to normality as fast as possible, he said.
Vaccination is the key to returning to normality. The Federal Council has been clear on this. As soon as we have offered vaccination to everyone who wants it we should be able to remove the restrictions, possibly at the beginning of August, said the minister.
Regarding new variants of the virus, Berset said that there has been no sign so far that new variants pose a problem in relation to the vaccines. We are one of the rare nations that has been able to vaccinate everyone with the best vaccines available, those with 95% effectiveness. So far Switzerland has used only the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.
However, he said it was too soon to conclude whether regular vaccinations would be required in the future. Protection appears to last longer than expected, but we could expect the virus to continue circulating and mutating, said the minister,