Policy Briefs

The Expert Groups of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force address urgent issues regarding the COVID-19 crisis in Policy Briefs, which are discussed and approved by the Advisory Panel and published on our website. They reflect the thinking of the Taskforce on this topic at that time. If required, the policy briefs are updated in the light of new studies or other data.


This policy brief discusses the strategy that Switzerland should adopt to control the spread of the virus until a vaccine or effective treatment becomes available.

This policy brief identifies ways to achieve widespread and uniform testing
across Switzerland.

This document describes the basic principles of care for the very elderly and people with health problems in the context of the Sars-CoV-2 epidemic and Covid-19 disease.

There is a lot of interest in the approach to Covid-19 taken by Sweden. In this Policy Brief we compare the measures taken to control the epidemic in the two countries after  May 11 2020 , as well as relevant epidemiologic and economic indicators.

This policy brief discusses options to repay the government debt resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.

This document describes proximity tracing in more detail, specifically with respect to the proximity traicing app plannedin Switzerland.

This Policy Brief discusses gender aspects of COVID19 and pandemic response.

This Policy Brief discusses the social costs and benefits of the Testing, Isolating, Tracing and Quarantining (TITQ) strategy.

This document is a rapid systematic review and meta-analysis of the role of children (0-18 years) in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and is an update of the previous policy brief on the same topic.

Study Selection Process

Summary of Studies

This document discusses the ethical, legal, and social aspects of Test-trace-isolate-quarantine strategies. It complements the Policy Brief “SARS-CoV-2 Contact tracing strategy: epidemiological and strategic considerations». 

This document examines the ethical, legal, and social aspects associated with the continued confinement of those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

This document gives an assessment of the possible consequences of the relaxation of 11 May for the development of COVID-19 case numbers in Switzerland.

This policy brief discusses risk factors associated with hospitalization, ICU admission, and mortality in the context of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 infection

This document lists ongoing studies on vaccines and treatment of COVID-19 in Switzerland and beyond.

This policy brief examines the implications of public matching payments for commercial rent abatements during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dieses Dokument beschreibt die von der Task Force entwickelten Konzepte und Vorschläge zur Lockerung der Massnahmen gegen die COVID-19-Epidemie in der Schweiz.

Appendix 1 (Email from Lukas Bruhin)
Appendix 2 (Recommendations)
Appendix 3 (ELSI Policy Brief)
Appendix 4 (Analysis Sotomo)
Appendix 5 (Presentation International)

This document examines the ethical, legal, and social aspects of serological passports. It discusses possible limitations and highlights important aspects to be considered in advance.

This document summarizes the main ethical, legal and social benchmarks for transition strategies.

This policy brief summarizes: the rationale for contact tracing and for quarantine of contacts; differences between classic person-based contact tracing and digital proximity tracing; the role of virological testing; and social and ethical considerations.

This document defines the test methods and minimal specifications for Swiss manufacturers of masks.

This document examines the ethical, legal, and social aspects of serological passports. It discusses possible limitations and highlights important aspects to be considered in advance.

This document discusses the effect of the governmental measures on the epidemic dynamics of COVID-19 in Switzerland.

This document summarizes the findings on facemasks as a non-pharmaceutical intervention against infections due to respiratory viruses. reMask is an expert group working to provide for Switzerland evidence-based information and propose innovative solutions around the use and production of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This document elaborates on how phylogenetic analyses can be used to contribute to the epidemiological and evolutionary understanding of SARS-CoV-2.

This policy brief reviews the potentials and limitations of serological testing in Switzerland and outlines the priorities for future research.

This document describes why temperature screening is not useful as a stand-alone measure. It also emphasizes the importance of the motivation for testing.

This document briefly explains possible modelling options to illustrate the effects of the relaxation of control measures against the COVID 19 epidemic in Switzerland, which came into force on 26 April.

This living systematic review discusses the role of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 who have an asymptomatic infection.

This document summarizes the recommendations of the Task Force for healthcare facilities on the storage of FFP (Filtering Facepiece Particles) face masks.

This document presents the first descriptive analysis and modelling of the Swiss epidemic based on FOPH’s data on daily-confirmed COVID-19 cases by canton, age and sex and the daily number of negative tests.