Swiss people should consider dropping the everyday greeting of kissing each other on the cheeks, to avoid spreading the coronavirus, Switzerland’s health minister Alain Berset said in remarks published on Sunday.
In Switzerland, as in neighbouring France, it is common for women and people of opposite sexes to greet each other with alternating kisses on both cheeks. The Swiss version generally involves an asymmetrical three in total, in contrast to the two more usual for “la bise” (the kiss) across the border.
“We know that keeping one’s distance socially is the best way to slow the spread of the virus. That is why renouncing greeting kisses is a measure that should be seriously taken into consideration,” Berset told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, when asked if he was advising against the greeting.
Switzerland has fewer than 20 confirmed cases.