Home News Public support for government falls as Covid numbers rise

Public support for government falls as Covid numbers rise

Published on October 30, 2020

Swiss citizens support tougher anti-coronavirus measures, but their trust in the government has weakened over recent months, a new survey has found. 

At the end of October, only 37% of people surveyed had strong or very strong trust in the government’s handling of the crisis, compared with 66% in June and 67% back in April. This is according to the latest survey by the Sotomo research institute for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation,  swissinfo.ch’s parent company, published on Friday.

On the other hand, 67% said they wanted more intervention by the federal government with regard to the pandemic. Only 21% want more leeway for the cantons. 

The poll was carried out from October 23 to 28, just before the Swiss government announced on October 29 tougher measures to curb the second wave of the pandemic. But, says Sotomo, the survey shows that most of the measures announced this week are supported by the public.   

People surveyed also said they wanted a reduction in the current ten-day quarantine period through rapid coronavirus testing. 

Mask wearing 

After initial scepticism in Switzerland about wearing masks, there is now widespread support for extension of the mask wearing obligation. The survey found 64% of people are more or less in favour of compulsory mask wearing in the office, and 59% said mask wearing should be compulsory wherever a minimum social distance of 1.5 meters cannot be kept, including outside.  

Two-thirds of those surveyed support closing restaurants at 11pm, as the government has now done, or even from 10pm. Two-thirds of respondents also support restricting private and public events to a maximum of ten people. The Swiss government this week imposed this limit only for private events, suggesting that the population would support stricter measures. 

The survey also found support for restricting musical and sports activities. Some 68% support a ban on choir, brass band and orchestral performances and rehearsals, and 63% support a ban on all sports activities where the minimum distance cannot be kept and masks cannot be worn. 

However, opinion is divided over whether there should be a short lockdown, as has been imposed in neighbouring France and Germany. Opinion is split roughly half and half, with 49% in favour and 47% against. Older respondents would support it, but the majority of 35 to 44-year-olds would not.  

The poll was carried out among 34,825 people in Switzerland across all language regions. 

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