Corona has largely disappeared from everyday life. But whether the pandemic will return in the fall is an open question. According to the Federal Council, “increased vigilance and responsiveness” will certainly be necessary by next spring. And although the state government wants to remain vigilant, the measures should be decided elsewhere: by the cantons.
In the basic paper that the state government passed on Wednesday, as announced, it finally transfers responsibility for pandemic management to the cantons. Measures such as a mask requirement, but also the rules for isolation, including any restrictions or even the closure of events, are all a matter for the cantons.
Federal Council no longer wants
The latter have little desire. Among other things, the suggestion that the cantons should coordinate with each other for a possible mask requirement was discussed in the consultation. But the resistance was futile. Although the cantons refused to adopt the paper together with the federal government, the latter remains firm. “From the point of view of the Federal Council, the cantons are able to cope with a wide range of possible epidemic developments with the existing structures.”
You will only intervene yourself and declare the special situation under two conditions: if the efforts of the cantons are not sufficient to curb the spread of the virus and if there is a risk to public health. In addition, the federal government remains responsible for monitoring the virus, for international passenger transport and the supply of medicines such as vaccine procurement.
In an emergency, national topic again
The federal government also remains tough on the subject of costs. According to the Covid law, the cantons not only have to ensure hospital capacities, but also finance them. It stays that way. The cantons will also have to shell out the test offers themselves from the beginning of next year.
From the point of view of the conference of cantonal health directors (GDK), the hurdles for a renewed change to the “special situation” are too high. If a new wave of the epidemic emerges with an increased risk of overburdening the healthcare system, the focus will inevitably shift back to the national level, it said in a statement on Wednesday. (gbl)