People in dinghy sailing enjoy themselves on the Limmat River in Zurich, Switzerland, on Aug.9, 2020 (. / Arnd Wiegmann)

Switzerland announced on Wednesday that it will extend the ban on holding events with more than 1,000 attendees for one more month than planned, a consequence of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country in recent weeks. Specifically, the restriction that would have ended on August 31 will now resume on October 1.

« The Government intends to ensure that the epidemiological situation does not deteriorate »said the Collegiate Executive in a statement. « This careful reopening takes into account the needs of society and the economic interests of sports clubs and cultural venues, » he added.

Unlike some of its European neighbors, Switzerland failed to impose strict confinement when, in mid-March, it introduced measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. In addition, he began to smooth them very early and in stages. The first deconfinement took place on April 27. And since then it has continued.

A Bucherer watch and jewelry store on the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street in Zurich, Switzerland, on Aug.12, 2020. (. / Arnd Wiegmann)

The event ban for more than 1,000 people was due to expire on August 31. After announcing the extension, the Government specified the conditions in which the agglomerations must return, with measures that will have repercussions on the soccer and ice hockey championships.

« Strict protection protocols will be applied and events must be authorized by the cantons, taking into account the local epidemiological situation and its contact tracing capacity. (The measures) should be applied in a generalized way, as in the case of sporting, cultural and religious events, ”the statement said.

Some 37,079 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Switzerland, while 1,713 have lost their lives in the country of 8.5 million inhabitants. Daily infection rates skyrocketed to more than 1,000 in March, but dropped to a few dozen between mid-May and mid-June. They have since risen, with 273 new cases announced Wednesday, a level not seen since mid-April.

Children cool off under a public fountain during the hot summer in Zurich, Switzerland, on August 12, 2020 (. / Arnd Wiegmann)

Consequently, the Government also announced other measures that exceed mass events. Although the masks were already mandatory on trains, trams and buses since July 6, the Government decided that they should also be used on all flights from Saturday. « The measure affects all scheduled and charter flights that take off or land in Switzerland, regardless of the airline, » said the Executive.

Announcing the new changes at a press conference in the capital Bern, President Simonetta Sommaruga said: “We must face this situation together. The virus is still here « .

As a result of the extension of the bans, the Road Cycling World Cup, scheduled for September 20-27 in the Swiss towns of Aigle-Martigny, was suspended. « The organization of the World Cup is impossible, and even more so when 45 countries are quarantined to enter Switzerland »the organizers said in a statement.

A man rides a bicycle along the shores of Lake Zurich, on August 6, 2020 (. / Arnd Wiegmann)

Anyway, the International Cycling Union (UCI) reacted indicating their desire to keep the tests and is working on « an alternative project » so that the 2020 edition of the World Cup « be played, ideally in Europe and on the dates initially scheduled. »

The World Championships en route, which have eleven events in the program, they were going to gather more than 1,000 cyclists from 80 countries. The elite men’s race, scheduled for September 27, was announced as one of the most selective in history (249 kilometers, 4,040 m of elevation gain).

“It is a hard blow for cycling. We are talking about a World Cup, also in Switzerland, at the gates of France, with a route that was good for our riders« The president of the French Cycling Federation, Michel Callot, lamented in statements to the . agency.

With information from .

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