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COVID-19

Panic buying in Switzerland: Why there’s no need to stockpile

After Switzerland's Federal Council announced sweeping measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus on Friday, Swiss press and social media posted photos in recent days of empty shelves in the country’s supermarkets. But is there really a reason to worry?

Panic buying in Switzerland: Why there's no need to stockpile
There is no food shortage at Swiss supermarkets, retailers say. Photo: AFP

Supermarkets in certain locations had been partially emptied of certain non-perishable items, as panic-buying resulted in food shortages in some stores.

Canned and frozen products, toilet paper, flour, sugar, and soap were particularly scarce.

Migros spokesman Tristan Cerf even went on RTS television to offer his apologies to Swiss consumers. “It was an exceptional situation but there is currently no risk of a general shortage, and there is no need to build up large stocks”, he said.

“We will continue to deliver and fill the shelves”, Cerf added. “Our warehouses are fully stocked and distribution is assured”.

A spokesperson for Aldi told RTS that the stores initially experienced delivery difficulties, particularly from Italian suppliers. But the missing items had been replaced with alternative products and the supermarkets are now supplied daily with the complete assortment.

A representative for Coop also said the chain is “doing everything possible to ensure the availability of goods”.

Even though the Federal Council declared state of emergency on Monday, closing all shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment and leisure facilities throughout Switzerland until April 19th, food stores and pharmacies will remain open.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Switzerland declares state of emergency over coronavirus


 

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COVID-19

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?

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