If most of the scientists who advise the federal government are on the path, the Federal Council should end the more liberal path in Switzerland this week. In a new work, the business umbrella association believes that this is disproportionate and incomprehensible.
The outlook for the politicians in power is disappointing for their country in the coming weeks and months. Austria is entering another complete blockade, Germany is discussing tightening its partial blockade – and Switzerland? In the confederation, the Federal Council has so far tried to control the situation while maintaining as much freedom as possible. It has left wider local restrictions in the hands of the cantons. Many daily infections have stabilized in recent days and appear to be declining again, but the number of intensive care units is growing. In the face of this, it has apparently violated the patience of most federal science working groups. This, in turn, shakes heads in the organization of the umbrella of the Swiss economy.
Only when necessary and graded
In its assessment of the situation released over the weekend, the Science Group called for a partial blockade in which all sports venues, theaters, museums, cinemas, concerts, but also Swiss restaurants and bars would be closed. In addition, requests to work from home should be more attractive. In private, it would be allowed to gather only people from both homes and more schools would have to return to online teaching.
In a new paper, Economiesuisse addressed the criteria for assessing pandemic measures. The umbrella organization must justify the enormous restrictions on personal and economic freedoms in order to have the most beneficial effect on individual measures in terms of their costs (proportionality). Moreover, it should be generally understood why politicians imposed restrictions and what behavior they demanded of the population (intelligibility). Economists believe that there is no longer a general and very broad new demand from the working group.
Measures should only be ordered and tightened if the measures are really necessary and graded. It should be noted that the benefits of further tightening are diminished. Researchers at Stanford University have shown that there is a non-linear relationship between mobility and infection: further restrictions on freedom of movement would reduce the infection slightly.
Although Economiesuisse still believes that the criteria of proportionality and comprehensibility for the measures taken on 28 October are largely given, the association believes that the partial blockade proposed by the scientific working group is of dubious benefit. The reductions required by the working group should therefore only be applied if the epidemiological situation does not improve. But today it is not so.
The economists of the umbrella association of the economy consider the relationship between effect and additional costs to expand the demand for masks, close nightclubs and nightclubs, and reduce sports and cultural activities (without a complete ban). Restricting private events to a maximum of 10 people and banning events for more than 50 people are somewhat less effective, but they are proportionate. On the other hand, advancing police time to 11pm doesn’t mean much. Instead, more attention would be paid to effective protection concepts and their enforcement. It should also be made clearer when the mask should be put away and when not.
Among the new constraints proposed by scientists, Economiesuisse recognizes the small additional benefit of the widespread ban on prior teaching and the full obligation to work from home. Whenever it makes sense, most companies have moved to work from home. Company representatives attribute the closure of bars and restaurants and the limited epidemiological benefit to limiting private gatherings to two homes, but these have also severely limited the economy and privacy. It is best to focus on the concepts of personal responsibility and protection. And the authorities need to be really faster and more efficient in testing and tracking contacts.
While the Science Group primarily sees the dangers of the Swiss liberal path, the Swiss economy is opposed, saying that the majority of the population today has a lot of support. If the restrictions were tightened, as in Austria, there would be a high risk that people would not be able to understand this and meet the requirements. But that would get nothing.