May DayDemonstration Alert

U.S Embassy Bern, Switzerland

Location:    Bern, Zurich, and possibly other cities in Switzerland

May Day demonstrations, both organized and spontaneous, are expected to occur throughout Switzerland in recognition of International Workers’ Day today, May 1st.

Bern authorities have advised a demonstration is planned for 2:00 PM at Zytglogge. While this demonstration is not authorized, authorities are expecting 100+ people to be present.

Historically, May Day rallies progress into the evening and night, so gatherings and demonstrations are expected around Bern all afternoon and evening.

Additionally, an anti-COVID demonstration is also planned for 2:00 PM at Bundesplatz. Some left-wing groups have called for a prohibition on any demonstrations not associated with May Day which presents the possibility of conflict between groups around Bern. Affected areas may include Old Town Bern, Bahnhofplatz, Bärenplatz and Bundesplatz.

Bern Police will be deployed in force this weekend and closely monitoring the situation.

Actions to take:

·         Exercise vigilance and heightened situational awareness over the coming days
·         Stay alert in public places, including schools, hospitals, churches, tourist locations, and transportation hubs
·         Be aware of your surroundings
·         Keep a low profile
·         Be prepared for potential traffic and public transportation disruptions
·         Monitor local media:

  • (German)
  • (English)
  • (German, French, Italian)·         Maintain social distancing, follow hygiene requirements, and follow the Swiss crowd limitation requirements
    ·         Avoid groups that are not following the security requirements and/or local laws
    ·         Review your personal security plans


U.S. Embassy Bern, Switzerland
031 357 70 11 (dialing within Switzerland)
+41 31 357 70 11 (dialing from overseas)
State Department – Bureau of Consular Affairs 
+1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada)
+1-202-501-4444 (from other countries)

Swiss Federal Office of Public Health Hotline
+41 58 463 00 00 (staffed 24 hours in German, French, Italian and English)
Switzerland Country Specific Information

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Get Alertswiss, a mobile app by the Federal Office for Civil Protection, to help you plan for and stay safe in an emergency while in Switzerland and Liechtenstein