Swiss require negative virus test for entry from high-risk areas

A view shows the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street during a partial lockdown, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Zurich, Switzerland January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government will require negative coronavirus tests from people entering the country from high-risk areas as of Feb. 8, the government said on Wednesday.

It proposed doubling to 5 billion Swiss francs ($5.63 billion) the fund financed by the federal and cantonal governments to support businesses hit hard by restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

It also said in a statement after a cabinet meeting it was ready to reactivate a scheme providing state guarantees for bank loans to affected companies should the credit market deteriorate. It extended unemployment benefits and said the federal government would finance around 6 billion francs in extra spending to cover compensation for workers on shortened working hours.

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