The Swiss government announced on Friday that it will release 42 billion francs (about $ 42.8 billion) to help its economy and, in particular, workers whose activity has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Switzerland, with 8.5 million inhabitants, is about to overcome the barrier of 5,000 cases of people with COVID-19 and the population has been under semi-confinement measures since last Monday, which includes closing all the educational system and the prohibition of public and private meetings of more than five people.
Economic activity is semi-paralyzed, with all non-essential businesses closed until April 20.
The Minister of Finance, Guy Parmelin, detailed a series of aids that will serve to make it easier for people who have had to stop their economic activity to maintain a significant percentage of their income and for companies to survive this situation.
“We will support companies so they can pay their employees,” said Parmelin, who listed a series of decisions that will lighten the tax burden and facilitate bank loans for heavily impacted sectors, such as tourism and leisure.
“We want to ensure its viability in the short and medium term,” the minister said in a press conference that followed a meeting of members of the federal government to analyze the evolution of the situation created by the coronavirus.
Culture and sport will also receive government aid in the face of the massive cancellation of events.
People who meet in groups of more than five will be fined 100 francs (about $ 102), Interior Minister Alain Berset announced.
The government has also appealed to all people with medical training to report to hospitals. “We need your help,” said Berset.