Swiss friendly match draws crowd of 1,000 flouting lockdown rules

May 27 – Authorities in Switzerland are investigating reports than almost 1,000 people broke coronavirus restrictions by attending an unofficial match in Lausanne.

Mass gatherings are still forbidden under government-imposed rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The match, between teams from Lausanne and Yverdon, was held last week in the suburbs in a party atmosphere, according to  Swiss broadcaster  RTS with attendees alerted to the event on social media and messaging apps.

It was not immediately clear whether professional or amateur players were involved.

“It was deemed counterproductive and even dangerous for police to intervene given the number of people attending,” city police spokesman Antoine Golay told RTS.

“We can see that part of the population don’t feel concerned by the pandemic. We knew that something was brewing but we didn’t know the exact location. That made it hard to stop the game in advance.”

The news comes as Switzerland gradually relaxes its lockdown measures. On Saturday large crowds partied in Basel, drawing criticism, especially at the lack of police presence. Hundreds of protestors have been joining demonstrations in some Swiss cities over the lockdown.

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