Bern —  Switzerland will close shops and toughen social distancing restrictions in a bid to prevent a surge of a faster-spreading strain of Covid-19 that has already swamped UK hospitals.

Non-essential shops will be closed from January 18, a measure that have already been enacted in neighbouring Germany and Austria. Restaurants and fitness centres will also have to stay shut until the end of February, and private gatherings will be restricted to five people, according to the government in Bern on Wednesday...

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