More planning security for major events

After presenting its three-phase model – protection phase, stabilization phase, normalization phase – the Federal Council also outlines how it intends to give organizers of major events more planning security. With strict protective measures, larger events should be possible again from summer/autumn 2021. The cantons are to be able to approve these events from the end of May. If they have to be canceled at short notice for epidemiological reasons, the federal government and the cantons are to assume a large part of the uncovered costs.

The live marketing industry is one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its activity was virtually paralyzed from one day to the next, and it will be one of the last industries to be able to resume it – further delayed by long lead times.

The Federal Council is of the opinion that with the increase in vaccinations and depending on the epidemiological situation, it will once again be possible to hold large events – from 1 July 2021 with up to 3,000 people and from 1 September 2021 with up to 10,000 people. In doing so, the Federal Council wants to take into account the circumstance of longer preparations for large events and give the organizers a certain degree of planning certainty as early as possible and the cantons a decision-making aid. He announced this on 28 April 2021.

The proposal of the Federal Council: The cantons should be able to authorize large events from July or September 2021 from the end of May 2021. If approved events with more than 1,000 people have to be canceled at short notice due to the Covid-19 situation, the organizers should be supported with a financial “protective umbrella” to cover the costs incurred.

Strict protective measures

The Federal Council has defined which protective measures must be fulfilled for this. The focus is on strict protection concepts and the requirement that only vaccinated, negatively tested and recovered persons can participate in such events.

In order to test the sophisticated protection concepts, the Federal Council proposes a pilot phase. Cantons are to be able to approve the holding of three selected pilot events with a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 600 people in June 2021. These pilot events are to show whether and how the protection concepts for large events can be implemented and how the control of vaccination, testing and recovery certificates can be ensured. By the summer, a standardized Covid certificate should be available throughout Switzerland, which will make this control much easier. Furthermore, it is to be examined whether the use of self-tests, which can be carried out on site and under the supervision of the organizer, is practicable.

Financial “protective umbrella”

The Federal Council has determined how the financial “protective umbrella” introduced by Parliament with the new Art 11a in the Covid Law should be structured in concrete terms. The organizer bears a deductible of CHF 30,000 per event from the uncovered costs and a deductible of 20 percent of the remaining amount. If the cantons bear half of the uncovered costs, the federal government will pay the other half. The cost sharing of the Confederation and the cantons amounts to a maximum of CHF 5 million per event. The regulation applies to events between 1 June 2021 and 30 April 2022.

Decisions end of May and end of June 2021

The Federal Council has submitted these proposals for consultation and intends to decide on them at the end of May 2021. The decision on when exactly and under what specific conditions large-scale events will be possible again from summer/autumn 2021 will probably be taken by the Federal Council – depending on the epidemiological situation – in the second half of June 2021.