Switzerland’s Federal Council announced on April 16 a three-step process for the gradual re-opening of stores, schools and various businesses. To begin with, do-it-yourself stores and garden centers will be able to start operating again on April 27, along with flower shops, hairdressers and massage parlors, while other types of retailers, including sporting goods stores, will have to wait until May 11, irrespective of their size as in German and Austria.

The Swiss federation of sporting goods retailers, Asmas, issued a statement denouncing the “blatantly unequal treatment” of its members, as large hypermarkets and supermarkets selling food and nonfood items like those of Migros and Coop have been allowed to stay open to sell the entire range of their products, which includes sports items in some cases.

Like Asmas, the association of fashion retailers, Textilschweiz, has sent an open letter to the Swiss government complaining about the discrimination. Both noted that their members are perfectly capable of following strict anti-contamination guidelines and that their financial situation has been endangered by the lockdown.

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