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Everything that changes in Switzerland in November 2020

Everything that changes in Switzerland in November 2020
In November, masks will be worn in crowded public places. Photo by AFP
From tougher coronavirus measures to a minimum wage in Geneva, here’s what you can expect to happen in Switzerland in November.

More Covid-19 restrictions

From November 2nd, several cantons enforced new restrictions to rein in skyrocketing coronavirus cases.

The measures go beyond those mandated by the Federal Council on October 28th, which include mask mandate outdoors in all areas where “the concentration of people does not allow the necessary distances to be respected”,  11 pm curfew for bars and restaurants, the closure of nightclubs and discos, as well as the limit of 10 people for private gatherings and 50 for public events

Among the cantons that implemented additional measures is Geneva, which is under ‘semi-confinement’ —  a move that includes the closure of all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops, along with leisure establishments like cinemas, museums, libraries and pools. 

People are encouraged to leave their homes only if strictly necessary, though there are no legal bans on moving about.

Stricter measures are also in place from November 2nd in Jura and Neuchâtel, with more cantons expected to release their own restrictions to supplement the national ones.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Geneva and other Swiss cantons introduce tighter coronavirus restrictions 

Note: New restrictions are being introduced daily. Please stay tuned to The Local for the most up to date information – or contact us to ask about what's going on in your canton: [email protected]

Geneva introduces a minimum wage of 23 francs an hour from November 1st

In a referendum on September 27th, 58 percent of the canton’s voters approved this union-backed initiative, guaranteeing every worker in one of the world's priciest cities at least 23 francs an hour. 

Geneva is the third of Switzerland's 26 cantons to set a minimum hourly earnings rate after Jura and Neuchatel.

Rapid antigen tests are available from November 2nd

Rapid antigen tests, which show in about 15 minutes whether someone is infected with the coronavirus, are available in testing centres and pharmacies throughout the country from November 2nd and will be used along with the conventional testing method, the PCR test. 

Fast Covid-19 testing begins in November. Photo by AFP

According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), “the current approach is that anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus should be tested immediately. The goal of this strategy is to detect as many infections as possible. This is the only way of systematically breaking chains of infection, which is key to managing the epidemic”.

Deadline for changing health insurance carriers

By now, you will likely have received a letter from your insurance company, notifying you of the premium for 2021 — by law, carriers must announce the new rates to their clients no later than October 31st.

Once a year every insured person has the right to change the provider of his or her basic compulsory health insurance. For most people, changing is only possible if you cancel your existing policy by November 30th.

Depending on the canton, the increase will be between -1.6 percent and 2.1 percent, somewhat lower than in previous years.

Two new referendums for November 29th

Coronavirus restrictions pending, Switzerland will go to the polls on November 29th to vote on two referendum questions. 

The first, entitled ‘For responsible businesses – protecting human rights and the environment’, aims to introduce new statutory obligations for Swiss businesses at home and abroad. 

The second, entitled ‘For a ban on financing war material manufacturers’, put in place strict restrictions on the production of weapons. 

Specifically, it seeks to “make it illegal to finance any form of war material, including, for example, the manufacture of assault rifles, tanks and their components. The ban will not only cover granting loans to war material manufacturers but will also make it illegal to hold shares in such companies or to invest in funds that contain their shares.”

More about the vote can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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