Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Find out what's going on in Switzerland today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

Swiss politician wants babies to have the right to vote

Michael Felber, a deputy in canton Zug, has proposed that babies, toddlers, and young children should be able to cast their votes in municipal and cantonal referendums, even though they can’t read, write, or understand political implications of their decisions.

Concretely, parents would each receive half a vote on their child’s behalf. Felber said a system “will guarantee greater generational justice in the democratic process”.  

As far-fetched as this idea may seem, Felber is not the first  MP to raise this issue.  In 2009, a similar idea was launched in canton Lucerne, but it didn’t generate much interest.

Army will sell its expired medical supplies

Swiss military will sell the merchandise it bought for the health system at the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020. 

Batches of FFP2 / FFP3 masks, disinfectant, and other medical supplies, which will soon reach their expiration date, will be sold “at greatly reduced prices” to the cantons, municipalities and healthcare establishments.

On request, the masks will be given free of charge to Swiss aid organisations.

The army routinely sells to the public its out-of-service equipment such as vehicles and technical gear.

Army is selling expired hand disinfectants and other medical material. Photo by AFP

Public should be tested every two weeks, health experts say

A parliamentary health commission is proposing that every resident of Switzerland have a Covid test every two weeks as a way out of the shutdown.

The commission said that such frequent testing would prevent the spread of coronavirus more effectively than at present.

It is now up to the Federal Council to examine whether it could finance such a massive expansion of the testing scheme.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How does Switzerland’s mass testing scheme work?

Trains and buses can’t restrict the number of passengers

While having less people on public transportation during the pandemic would help maintain distance between passengers,  such limits can’t be imposed.

On public transport access can’t be restricted precisely because it is a public entity, said Ueli Stückelberger, head of the Association of Public Transport. 

However, some transport companies are using additional trains or buses, “so that passengers can spread out as much as possible”, Stückelberger said.

He also stressed that customers “should try to avoid full trains”, to lessen the risk of infection, even though masks are compulsory on public transportation.

What’s coming up:

February 25th marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed Covid-19 case in Switzerland — the case that quickly led to a full-blown health crisis.

The Local will write an article on Thursday about how Switzerland has been weathering the pandemic.

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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