News on the current coronavirus outbreak

Answer your questions and get recommendations

Are you unsure whether you may have been infected with the coronavirus and don’t know how you should respond? Complete the questionnaire to get an immediate recommendation about what to do in your situation according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) guidelines.

How we can help you

On behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), we are running the federal government’s official coronavirus hotline, which you can reach by calling

+41 58 463 00 00
(daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Medical advice and treatment
If you are ill and need medical attention, our doctors are available to help you around the clock. The Medgate App allows you to book a consultation by phone or video.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Which symptoms occur when I get sick with the new coronavirus?

The symptoms are very variable and unspecific. The following symptoms can occur:

  • Cough (mostly dry)
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever, feverish feeling
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of sense of smell and/or taste
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Sniffles
The symptoms can be of varying severity. Complications like pneumonia are also possible. For most people the disease is mild. However, especially people over 65 years of age or people with a previous illness can become seriously ill.

How is the new coronavirus transmitted?

By close and prolonged contact: If you’re closer than two metres to a person who has con-tracted the illness for more than 15 minutes.

By droplet infection: If one person sneezes or coughs, the virus can be transported directly to the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth or eyes of other people.

Via your hands: Infectious droplets can get onto your hands from coughing and sneezing. Or you come into contact with a surface contaminated with the virus They can then get into your system if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes.

How can you protect yourself and others against infection with the new coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water several times a day or use a hand disinfectant.
  • If you have to cough or sneeze, hold a tissue in front of your mouth and nose. Then put it in a bin and wash your hands.
  • If you do not have a handkerchief, cough and sneeze in the crook of your arm.
  • Do not shake hands.
  • If possible, avoid contact with people who have breathing difficulties or a cough.
  • Keep a sufficient distance (at least 2 metres) from other people - for example when queuing, on public transport or during meetings.
  • Stay at home if you experience symptoms such as breathing difficulties, coughing and fever.
  • Only go to a doctor's practice or emergency ward after making an appointment by telephone.

Who is particularly at risk?

Persons over 65 years of age, highly obese persons (obesity BMI of 40kg/m2 or more) and those who have one of these pre-existing conditions are particularly at risk of becoming seriously ill:

  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic respiratory diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diseases and therapies that weaken the immune system
  • Cancer

What is recommended for particularly vulnerable persons?

Persons particularly at risk can leave their homes if they strictly observe the rules of hygiene and conduct. However, they are encouraged to avoid places with a high volume of people and rush hours.

Whenever possible, particularly vulnerable people should not do their shopping themselves: Online orders and purchases by friends, acquaintances, neighbours or family members are preferable.

Are pregnant women particularly at risk?

There is currently no evidence that healthy pregnant women have an increased risk of serious illness. However, if you are pregnant, you should protect yourself against infection with the new coronavirus if possible. This is because an acute illness - especially coughing and fever - can influence the course of a pregnancy. You should therefore always follow the rules of hygiene and conduct.

If you experience symptoms that indicate coronavirus infection, call your gynaecologist or midwife

What should you do if you suffer from symptoms of an acute respiratory disease?

If you suffer from symptoms of an acute respiratory disease (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) with or without fever, feverish feeling, muscle aches or sudden loss of sense of smell or taste, you must be tested for the coronavirus. To do this, contact the responsible office in your canton.

If the course of the disease is mild, no additional doctor or hospital visit is necessary. In this case, you should be cured at home. If at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms, you can leave home again 48 hours after the symptoms have subsided.

If you are seriously ill, contact a doctor or health care institution by telephone.

What should you do if you have had contact with someone who is known to be infected with coronavirus?

If you live in the same household as a person with corona virus or if you have had intimate contact with a person with coronavirus while they were experiencing symptoms or in the 24 hours before symptoms start, you must be quarantined.

Why are the rules of hygiene and conduct so important?

The coronavirus is a new virus against which humans do not yet have an immune defence. It can lead to many infections and diseases. We must therefore slow down the propagation of the new coronavirus as much as possible.

Especially people with a higher risk of falling seriously ill must be protected. These are the over-65s and those with a pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and diseases and therapies that weaken the immune system.

If we all play by the rules, we can also better protect these people. In doing so, we also help to ensure that people with serious illnesses continue to be well treated in health facilities. This is because treatment rooms and respirators are limited in the intensive care units.

Benefits of telemedicine

In the current situation, telemedicine is playing a key role in ensuring the provision of medical care.

  • Our doctors can treat you right at home via phone or video.
  • This reduces the risk of infection in waiting rooms and out in public.
  • The number of visits to doctors’ offices is reduced, which helps to keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.