Opponents believe that the existing laws “are sufficient to protect the Swiss from Covid-19 or other infectious diseases,” according to the LoiCovid Non-Committee, which includes several groups that oppose the law. They also argue that the Covid Act discriminates against the unvaccinated and would create an “unprecedented divide in Swiss society”.
Last month, a spokeswoman for the Committee of Friends of the LoiCovid-Non constitution described Switzerland’s health passport as “health apartheid”. The certificate justified compulsory vaccination, since the tests would now be paid for, argued Cailler. “We’re trying to force the population through their wallets,” she said.
The latest wave hit Switzerland hard with a seven-day moving average of over 5000 cases a day in the past week in a population of 8 million. According to the Swiss government’s Covid platform, 75,843 new cases have been detected in the country in the last 14 days to Thursday, a number nearing the peak of infections last year.
This is the second time in less than six months that the Swiss have to vote on health measures. In June, citizens supported the Covid Act 2020 in a first referendum with 60.2% of the vote.
Dealing with the pandemic and its legal updates is a challenge for the system of direct federal democracy, in which all decisions at federal, cantonal or municipal level can later be questioned by the voters.
As usual, three laws will be put to the vote on Sunday: the Covid Act, an initiative “for strong care” and an initiative to select federal judges.