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COMEDY

What’s on: five things to do in Switzerland this weekend

From comedy gigs to all-night carnival parades, here are some of the events taking place in Switzerland this weekend.

What’s on: five things to do in Switzerland this weekend
The Shapes Music Festival in Vaud features 25 DJs. File photo: Depositphotos

Party

It’s Carnival time in Switzerland with colourful parades and all-night parties on across the country. Some of the biggest events this weekend are going on in Lucerne, St Gallen, Sion, and Bellinzona but there plenty of other carnival-themed events in smaller towns and villages, all of which are worth visiting in their own right. Here is our guide to Switzerland’s Carnival season to get you inspired.

Learn

Take a guided tour in English of Zurich’s hugely impressive Swiss National Museum, just near the main train station. The meeting point is in the foyer at 11am on Saturday March 2nd, and the tour examining both Switzerland's past and present lasts an hour. There is more information here.

Laugh

UK–Irish comedian Jimmy Carr will be delivering his blend of dry, deadpan (and often filthy) humour at Basel’s RhyPark venue this Friday, March 1st. Tickets for the British Comedy Award winner’s performance are 66 francs, although there are cheaper rates for students. Read more here.

Admire

On Saturday March 2nd, the 'Le Lac' villa designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier will open again to the public for the spring season. Built in 1923, the small UNESCO- recognized house in Corseaux on the shores of Lake Geneva is described as a “little gem of ingenuity and functionalism” and serves as a sign post for Le Corbusier’s later work.

The villas is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm. You can find out more here.

The Le Corbusier villa 'Le Lac' in Corseaux. 

Dance

The Shapes Music Festival in Leysin in the canton of Vaud features around 25 DJs from around the world. During they day, they’ll be blasting their music on the slopes, while in the evening, the partying moves indoors. The full program is here.

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SOCIETY

Allowing large gatherings in Switzerland ‘poses a significant risk’

Faced with the possibility that Swiss authorities will authorise gatherings of over 1,000 people from October 1st, health officials say the measure may spark the second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Allowing large gatherings in Switzerland ‘poses a significant risk’
Crowds of 1,000 people might be allowed from October 1st. Photo by AFP

The government announced last week that over 1,000 people will be allowed to get together from October 1st. The decision was made based on the “needs of society and the economic interests of sports clubs and cultural venues”. 

The current limit is 300.

Authorities did say that “strict protective measures will apply and the events will have to be authorised by the cantons, taking into account the local epidemiological situation and their contact tracing capacity”.

However, some health officials are sounding the alarm about the risks involved in allowing such a large number of people to congregate in one place while the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet under control.

“We are seeing a slow but inexorable increase in infections and outbreaks in Switzerland,” Philippe Eggimann, president of the Medical Society of French-Speaking Switzerland said in an interview with La Liberté newspaper. 

“It is not reasonable to open the way for more transmission opportunities,” he added.

READ MORE: 'We're on a dangerous slope': Swiss officials fear more Covid-19 cases as seasons change 

According to Eggimann, lifting the restriction on large assemblies would make it harder to trace contacts in the event of coronavirus infections, therefore “encouraging a second wave”.

He also noted that the re-opening of schools and the return from vacation will increase social interactions, and with it, the risk of exposure to the virus.

“In this context, allowing crowds of 1,000 people is a significant risk. It would have been safer to watch how things develop and only then make decisions,” he noted.

The warning comes as the number of Covid-19 infections in Switzerland became the highest since the worst of the pandemic in April.

The number of daily cases so far in August has exceeded 200 a day, rising nearly twofold from previous weeks.

That is a substantial surge from the month of June, when the count for daily cases was in the low two-digits. 

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