COVID-19 - How to protect yourself and others

4. Vulnerable persons

People who are frail or vulnerable are at higher risk and need to be more careful than others. This means, for example, wearing a mask in certain situations, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated places, and protecting themselves from people who have symptoms or who test positive for Covid-19.

  • People aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults with trisomy 21
  • Adults with the following diseases: cancer, immune deficiency (immunosuppression) due to disease or therapy, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary and respiratory diseases, chronic kidney disease, liver cirrhosis, severe obesity.
Vulnerable people can develop a severe form of the disease and should be protected. If you are concerned about whether you are a vulnerable person, contact your family doctor.

What to do in case of symptoms or a positive test?

Pregnant women: 
It is important that pregnant women continue to protect themselves by following the rules of hygiene and conduct. Getting Covid-19 (even the omicron variant) presents a high risk for the pregnancy and the unborn child. 
At the work place, the lifting of the measures by the Federal Council does not mean that all protective measures have been removed. Swiss Labour Law requires the employer to continue to protect the health of his employees against Covid-19. Further information, including about protection at work, can be found on the SECO website and in the position document of the Swiss Society for Gynaecology and Obstetrics (SSGO).
Pregnant women who have not yet been vaccinated and have not received their booster dose are still recommended to do so after the first term. Vaccination provides the best protection against a severe infection for both the pregnant woman and her unborn child. In case of symptoms of Covid-19, pregnant women are advised to get tested promptly and, in case of a positive result, to contact their gynaecologist to discuss the next steps.


More information

Persons in contact with a vulnerable person

What to do in case of symptoms or a positive test? 

How to protect other people

Persons visiting a vulnerable person 

In case of symptoms (Covid-19, flu, stomach flu...) or a positive test for Covid-19, do not visit a vulnerable person. It is recommended to wait until the end of the symptoms and at least 5 to 7 days after your positive test or the beginning of the first symptoms.

When visiting, maintain hygiene measures such as hand washing and airing the room you are in.

More information

Homes for elderly people and medical institutions (Etablissements médico-sociaux (EMS) et institutions de santé - in French only) 

Health care providers

Despite the lifting in Switzerland of measures contained in the Covid-19 Federal Ordinance as of 1st April 2022, Geneva maintains the obligation at a cantonal level to wear a mask in certain collective facilities for vulnerable persons in order to protect them against Covid-19 contamination.

Masks are therefore still compulsory for all persons aged 12 and over in indoor areas accessible to patients, residents or beneficiaries of : 

  • health institutions (clinics, hospitals, except for patients in their rooms)
  • day care establishments and nursing homes for the elderly (EMS) (except for residents and beneficiaries)
  • in the context of medical care at home (OSAD) for staff members who intervene in this context.
The cantonal doctor's office continues to recommend the wearing of masks in doctors' practices and pharmacies, as well as for all other health care providers who examine or treat patients/clients at home, in combination with other hygiene measures (hand washing, surface sanitation, room ventilation, distancing).

More information

Health professionals and health care network (Professionnels de santé et réseau de soins - in French only)

Last updated
26 April 2022

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