On 22 April 2020, the Federal Council agreed a guarantee scheme to support promising startups encountering liquidity problems caused by the coronavirus. The government-accredited loan guarantee organisations facilitate access to bank loans for startups. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has thus set out the practical criteria for this in consultation with interested cantons and the loan guarantee organisations. Loan guarantee applications can be submitted from 7 May up to 31 August 2020.
At its meeting on 29 April, the Federal Council decided to further ease the measures introduced to protect the population against the coronavirus. From Monday, 11 May, shops, restaurants markets, museums and libraries will be allowed to reopen, classes can be held again in primary and lower secondary schools, and sports training sessions will be allowed. There will be a significant increase in scheduled public transport services. This year baccalaureate examination grades may be based on continuous assessment, although the cantons will ultimately decide whether written baccalaureate examinations will be held. The easing of measures is conditional on the businesses and institutions concerned taking suitable precautionary measures. Strict compliance with hygiene and social distancing rules remains essential. In parallel to this easing of measures, restrictions on entering Switzerland will also be relaxed. It is further planned to reintroduce comprehensive contact tracing for all new infections from 11 May.
During its meeting on 3 April 2020, the Federal Council decided to expand the guarantee programme for COVID-19 bridging credit facilities. Due to the considerable demand, it is asking Parliament to increase the existing guarantee credit by CHF 20 billion to a total of CHF 40 billion.