Following the announcements of the Federal Council and the State Council with a view to containing the spread of the coronavirus, the Administrative Council of the City of Geneva adopted a raft of new measures during the session of 18 March 2020. These measures will be re-evaluated on a regular basis according to the situation.
Economic support measures
In light of the extremely alarming situation, the Administrative Council has decided to take all possible measures to support companies forced to close their doors in accordance with the federal ordinance concerning the measures designed to combat the coronavirus. While it is obliged to comply with these measures, it is fully aware of the serious consequences they may have for companies and will take action at every level within its scope of responsibility to relieve the economic pressure weighing on these companies. It has therefore decided to:
- suspend the collection of rental payments from shops and public entities managed by the municipal real estate management service which are forced to close their doors in April 2020. Costing approximately CHF 1.2 million per month, this measure can be renewed if the time frame established by the federal ordinance is extended;
- ask the Social Housing Foundation of the City of Geneva and all location managers in Geneva to adopt a similar practice;
- ask fondetec to strengthen the measures taken. Wholly funded by the City of Geneva, fondetec has already taken several key decisions with a view to facilitating the granting and renewal of loans. It has also chosen to suspend the collection of monthly payments owing until 30 June 2020 for existing loans. While it applauds the relevance of these measures, the Administrative Council has nevertheless decided, purely and simply, to ask it to forego the instalments due during the period established by the federal ordinance. This measure will result in an earlier recapitalisation of the foundation than planned, initially scheduled for 2027;
- ask the canton, in collaboration with the municipalities, to examine the means of changing the cantonal law governing the collection of municipal business tax in order to facilitate the implementation of an extraordinary allowance for the companies concerned by the closures stipulated in the federal ordinance, and this for the entire duration of its application;
- not to demand later-delivery indemnities for the construction sites under its responsibility. Aware that this measure alone is insufficient, the Administrative Council supports the demands of the social partners and asks the Confederation not only to agree to the immediate suspension of construction sites but also to deem companies in the construction and building sector eligible for the easing of shorter working hours (RHT) decided at the federal level.
Through these measures, the Administrative Council hopes to be able to support both companies and their staff in this unprecedented period of crisis as far as possible.
The Administrative Council confirms that families with one or more children enrolled in a nursery subsidised by the City of Geneva which has been closed since the beginning of the week will no longer pay the boarding fees from Monday 16 March 2020.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, the City has made every effort to protect vulnerable people with particularly poor health. It is working in close collaboration with the HUG (Geneva teaching hospitals) and the cantonal medical service. In order to improve care and reduce the risk of the virus spreading, the City has decided to deploy the social emergency systems in several sites, thereby increasing the number of care facilities.
In light of the current crisis, the City has also provided all local social emergency associations with access to gymnasiums to ensure that people benefiting from their aid can be housed in better conditions.
The City has today announced that the Caserne des Vernets will soon be made available by the federal and cantonal authorities to care for homeless people. In order to ensure better coordination of public action in favour of these people, the City will assume full responsibility for the social emergency activity as soon as the Caserne des Vernets is made available.
Against the backdrop of the current humanitarian emergency, the Administrative Council would like to commend the commitment of everyone – professionals, associative partners and volunteers – who has displayed unswerving solidarity.
The Administrative Council welcomes the Canton’s decision to recommend the introduction of municipal solidarity plans intended for isolated individuals. The means of implementing these plans will be stipulated on Friday 20 March 2020.
The street cleaning department has adapted its service
Refuse collection via the door-to-door service and at the ecopoints is maintained in full. It remains a key priority. To enable the department to provide this service, appointments to collect bulky waste can no longer be made (either by phone or online) until further notice. Cleaning of public areas is partially maintained, with approximately 50% of the personnel working in the field. Priority is given to emptying bins in the streets and cleaning the ecopoints.
Events organised by the City
In light of the exceptional situation, numerous cultural and sporting events have been cancelled or postponed. The Journées européennes des Métiers d’art, for example, scheduled to be held in Geneva on 3, 4 and 5 April, and the Nuit des Musées 2020, scheduled for 16 May, have been cancelled. The 29th edition of the Fête de musique 2020 will not be held in June and a new date will be announced if at all possible.
The events of La Ville est à vous, scheduled to be held before the summer, and the l’Escale events venues have been cancelled.
The closure of public infrastructures also concerns open-air sports facilities where gatherings with more than 5 people are prohibited.
The Administrative Council reiterates that, during the coming weeks, it is essential to ensure strict compliance with the health recommendations in order to enable the healthcare services to fulfil their missions to the best of their ability.
For more information concerning the precautions to be taken and any developments to the situation, a page dedicated to the coronavirus relaying the recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Canton is available for consultation on geneve.ch.
Hotline – Geneva 0800 909 400 every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Article modifié le 18.03.2020 à 14:34