What’s changing in Switzerland this week?

What's changing in Switzerland this week?
Masks are required in schools in some cantons. Photo by AFP
From school re-openings and new rules in Bern restaurants, to the suspension of an international train service, these are the events in Switzerland this week.


Classes are resuming in the cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden, Jura, Neuchâtel, Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwald, Uri, Valais, Zug, Zurich, and the French-speaking part of Bern.

As is the case in the 11 cantons where schools re-opened on August 10th, masks are not required in primary classes, which include kindergarten to sixth grade in most regions.

READ MORE: Masks or no masks? How some Swiss schools are re-opening this week

Of the schools resuming this week, only Bern, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, and Zürich require masks in secondary and vocational schools, when the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be respected, and in the absence of physical protection such as plexiglass walls.

And while originally schools in Solothurn, which re-opened on August 10th, did not require masks, from Monday mouth and nose protection will be mandatory in and outside classrooms.

Contact tracing compulsory in Bern restaurants

Photo by AFP

From Monday, indoor customers of restaurants and bars in the canton of Bern will have to leave their contact details.

The new rule goes further than the federal law, which stipulates that registration is only mandatory in cases where the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.

The Health Department said the regulation is enacted because “in initial contact tracing experiences the data provided was insufficient”.

Now, in addition to their name and phone numbers, customers will also have to provide their date of birth and their full address.

This new rule does not apply to terraces and outdoor spaces.

Temporary suspension of rail service to Italy

Photo by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB)

If you are planning a train trip to Milan in the coming two weeks, you will have to find an alternate means of transport.

From August 16th to September 6th, Eurocity trains connecting Geneva, Lausanne, Basel and Bern to Milan will not run, due to maintenance works on both sides of the Italian-Swiss border.

However, Trenitalia runs an “EC bus” four times a day between Milan and Brig with stops in Gallarate, Stresa and Domodossola. Lasting 4 hours 45 minutes, this route represents an alternative to the journey via the St. Gotthard for travelers from Valais.


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