Swiss to allow events of 1,000-plus people from October 1

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland will allow events with more than 1,000 people from Oct. 1, provided organizers agree to strict hygiene measures and have authorization from regional authorities, the government decided on Wednesday.

"The Federal Council thereby intends to ensure that the epidemiological situation in Switzerland does not deteriorate," the government said. "At the same time, this careful reopening step takes into account the needs of society and the economic interests of sports clubs and cultural venues."

Additionally, masks will have to be worn on all flights from Aug. 15, the government decided, following a mask requirement on the country's public transportation networks that has been in place already for weeks.

Events for more than 1,000 people have been banned in Switzerland since Feb. 28, forcing many cancellations of festivals, concerts while football matches have been played behind closed doors.

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In allowing events to increase the number of attendees after October, the government said that organizers must take into account the local epidemiological situation -- how quickly COVID-19 is spreading in the area where the event is due to be held -- and their contact tracing capacity, should an outbreak of infection occur.

(Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill)

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