Swiss voters in a referendum on Sunday backed government measures to fight the pandemic, according to early projections, including a COVID certificate for entry to restaurants, bars and other public places that had met with strong opposition.
More than 60% of voters supported the measure, according to Swiss media and the research institute gfs.bern.
The referendum came amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the country in recent weeks.
Voters had their say on changes to the measures, including financial support for people affected by the pandemic, contact tracing and testing, as well as the legal basis for a COVID pass. The certificate – showing whether citizens have recovered from the virus, been vaccinated or tested negative – has been found to be divisive.
Since September, the certificate is required to enter bars, restaurants, theaters and attend major events.
Loicovid-non, a committee of several groups opposed to the rules, said they discriminate against unvaccinated people and that the certificate “implicitly induces forced vaccination.”
The results were expected, as recent polls showed strong support for the measure. Most political parties supported the law. However, the far-right Swiss People’s Party, which dominates opinion polls, opposed it.
Voters also voted on two other proposals: one on nursing support measures set to pass, while another on a new process for electing federal judges is set to be defeated.
Sunday marked the second time this year that Swiss voters have approved government COVID measures, following a June referendum where 60% supported the rules.
Switzerland has a system of direct democracy, which means that any initiative of the public can go to the national vote if it collects 100,000 signatures. Referendums on laws approved by parliament can also be called with 50,000 signatures.