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Thursday, 30 April 2020

Swiss children under 10 allowed to hug grandparents as they 'do not transmit COVID-19 with Switzerland easing lockdown

Children under the age of 10 in Switzerland have been told they can now hug their grandparents as the country begins to ease coronavirus lockdown measures.

The country has revised its initial COVID-19 advice to stay apart after Daniel Koch, head of the Swiss infectious diseases unit, said scientists "now know young children don't transmit the virus".


He said many grandparents "live to see their grandchildren, it's important for their wellbeing".
However, he said this does not mean family gatherings are now allowed - and emphasised only children under 10 should be permitted contact, not older children or teenagers.
"We are talking about brief contact with grandchildren, not get-togethers with the entire family, babysitting, or spending time with the kids outside the home", he said.
Switzerland is one of a handful of European countries starting to ease lockdowns, with garden centres and hairdressers now allowed to open their doors, while shops and schools will reopen in a fortnight.
Dr Koch said the initial advice against "mixing of the generations" was issued when Swiss scientists were still learning about how coronavirus was transmitted.
The new advice came after consultation with experts at Universities in Zurich, Bern and Geneva, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported.
However, not all experts agreed with the government's conclusion.
Dr Steve Rietiker, a Swiss physician and digital health expert, told Sky News: "People are a little confused because so far everyone said you're not supposed to approach your children, they have to be kept away from their grandparents.
"And all of a sudden (the infectious diseases unit) is changing the rhetoric, and we don't know what kind of studies they are basing their assumptions on, and I assume it is assumptions.
"It's good news for the kids and its good news for the grandparents, but we're not sure yet if this is a valid assumption."


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