In Switzerland, locals are still allowed to stay in hotels. Those who can afford it spend the quarantine in luxury accommodation.
This is a good way to survive a pandemic: Luxury apartment in "Le-Bijou" in Lucerne Photo: Le-Bijou
In Switzerland, the coronavirus has managed to do what neither the Spanish flu nor the two world wars were able to do: The luxurious Hotel Schweizerhof on Lucerne’s lakeside promenade, which opened in 1845, closed down last week for the first time in its history.
The same is true for many other hotels in the tourist country of Switzerland, which still posted a record of nearly 40 million overnight stays in 2019. It is true that locals are still allowed to stay in hotels for tourist purposes. But that hardly matters at this time of year, as the government in Bern has closed all winter sports areas.
Tourists and business people from abroad (with the exception of Liechtenstein) have not been able to enter Switzerland at all for two weeks. At least not with the means of transport affordable for normal earners: train, car or scheduled flight. By the end of March, the hotel industry had recorded a drop in sales of around 450 million francs (approx. 400 million euros).
A few stone’s throw from the Schweizerhof, the provider Le Bijou is doing big business with the corona virus. In its houses in Lucerne, Basel, Geneva and Zurich, well-heeled people can rent luxury apartments as quarantine accommodation. For around 450 euros per night. Services such as a food delivery service or an entertainment system to combat boredom cost extra.
In a private jet
Guests can also book a Coronatest room service (450 euros), two daily check-ups by medical staff (1,650 euros) or round-the-clock care by a nurse (4,350 euros) à la carte. In addition, the operator of Le Bijou promises its customers "rapid access" to a private clinic "with state-of-the-art treatment options" in the event of an emergency.
Guests can book a Coronatest room service à la carte (450 euros).
The entire process, from booking to check-in, opening the apartment door with a code, and payment, is handled digitally, so guests do not need to come into contact with another person with a possible risk of infection. Among the residents of the apartment buildings are also rich foreigners who, at least until now, have flown to Switzerland by private jet.
The demand is so good that, for image reasons, Le Bijou has been offering a free stay since last Friday to doctors and nurses who have a proven record of overtime or emergency work due to the Corona crisis.