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GENEVA CANTONAL POLICE

Man arrested with 56 drug packets in stomach

A man from Guinea-Bissau stopped at the Geneva airport at the weekend was carrying 56 packets of drugs in his intestinal tract, police said on Monday.

Man arrested with 56 drug packets in stomach
Geneva airport. Photo: eGuide Travel

The 41-year-old sparked the suspicion of customs officers when he arrived at Geneva airport from Lisbon Sunday morning and had been taken to a hospital for x-rays, Geneva police said in a statement.
 
"This medical exam revealed the presence of a number of packets," police said, adding that the "foreign objects have yet to be expelled" from the man's body.
   
The man had told police he was carrying 56 packets of an undetermined drug and that he had been set to receive 600 euros ($790) for his trouble.
   
The case has been handed over to the Geneva public prosecutor's office, police said.

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GENEVA AIRPORT

Geneva Airport schedules tentative take-off for mid-June

Geneva Airport said Thursday it would restart regular passenger services on June 15th, although with a much-reduced schedule and new measures in place to protect against COVID-19.

Geneva Airport schedules tentative take-off for mid-June
Still empty, Geneva's international airport will resume part of its regular operations on June 15th. Photo by AFP

         
Geneva is Switzerland's second-busiest airport after Zurich and serves a city which is home to the United Nations's European headquarters and a vast array of international organisations.

The Swiss government said this week that it has the new coronavirus under control and will lift most of its remaining lockdown restrictions on June 6th.

Flag carrier Swiss Air Lines and British no-frills carrier easyJet will resume services from Geneva on June 15th — but to a fraction of their former destinations.

 “What's really important for us is to offer an environment … which gives people confidence to fly again and also ensures protection for the staff and the passengers,” the airport's chief executive Andre Schneider told a press conference.

Wearing masks inside the airport will be strongly recommended, though not mandatory.

Hand gel stations have been introduced while plastic screens have been installed at check-in counters to protect staff.

Passengers will present their boarding cards and passports without making contact, and will scan their own boarding passes to access departure gates and planes.

Floor markers have been laid down to remind people to keep two metres apart wherever possible.

Posters and loudspeaker messages will remind passengers of the new instructions. 

Gradual resumption 



Normally, Geneva Airport services around 150 destinations with 50 airlines, transporting 17.9 million passengers in 2019.

Swiss, which belongs to German carrier Lufthansa, said it would restart with at least percent of its flights from Geneva and hoped to get 60 percent back up and running by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Coronavirus TRAVEL: What can passengers expect at Swiss airports and on planes? 

Regional managing director Lorenzo Stoll said that for the first fortnight, Swiss would offer 44 flights a week to and from 14 European destinations, including 12 to Frankfurt, seven to London, four to Porto and three each to Lisbon and Athens.

EasyJet said it would initially resume with seven flights a week to Porto, five to Nantes, four each to Lisbon and Bordeaux and three to Brindisi.

“Demand will inevitably be the driver” as to which services are reinstated first, said easyJet Switzerland director Jean-Marc Thevenaz.

All check-in procedures will be done online, with boarding passes downloaded — while masks will be mandatory on easyJet flights.

Both easyJet and Swiss stressed that the air filtration system on board meant that the air inside the cabin was replaced every three minutes, with 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants filtered out.

Thevenaz said that despite the close proximity to other passengers, “you can breathe better air on an aircraft than outside”, while Stoll said it was comparable to the air quality in an operating theatre.

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