Orignally published on 2021-11-28 14:07:31 by www.politico.eu
Swiss voters in a referendum Sunday backed government measures to fight the pandemic, according to early projections, including a COVID certificate for entry into restaurants, bars and other public places that had sparked vocal opposition.
The referendum came amid a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the country over the past few weeks.
Voters had a say over changes to measures including financial support for those affected by the pandemic, contact tracing and testing, as well as the legal basis for a COVID pass. The certificate — showing if citizens have recovered from the virus, been vaccinated or tested negative — proved to be divisive.
Since September, the certificate has been necessary to enter bars, restaurants, theaters and attend big events.
Loicovid-non, a committee gathering several groups opposed to the rules, claimed they are discriminatory against non-vaccinated people and the certificate “implicitly induces a forced vaccination.”
The results were expected, as recent polls showed solid support for the measure. Most political parties supported the law. However, the far-right Swiss People’s Party, which tops opinion polls, was opposed.
Voters also cast a ballot on two other proposals: One on supporting measures for nurses is set to be approved, while another on a new election process for federal judges is on track to be rejected.
Sunday marked the second time this year Swiss voters have approved government COVID measures, following a June referendum where 60% backed the rules.
Switzerland has a system of direct democracy, which means any initiative from the public can go to a national vote if it gathers 100,000 signatures. Referendums on laws agreed by the parliament can also be triggered with 50,000 signatures.