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COVID-19

IN PICTURES: One year of coronavirus in Switzerland

From toilet paper hoarding to mask hysteria, here are some memorable images from Switzerland’s first year of living with Corona. 

A man wearing protective face masks holds toilet paper in the street in Bern, Switzerland. Image: STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP
A man wearing protective face masks holds toilet paper in the street in Bern, Switzerland. Image: STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP

On February 25th, 2020, the first case of coronavirus was detected in Switzerland. One year later, Switzerland – and indeed the world – has changed immeasurably. 

One-year anniversary: What has changed in Switzerland since the first Covid-19 case was detected?

Here are some images which sum up one year of the pandemic in Switzerland. 

A queue of people in Geneva on the last shopping day before Switzerland went back into lockdown in January 2021. The sign, in French, says “Wear a mask. Everyone. Really” Image: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A queue of people in Geneva on the last shopping day before Switzerland went back into lockdown in January 2021. The sign, in French, says “Wear a mask. Everyone. Really” Image: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

People bathe in Lake Geneva on New Year’s Day. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A skier in a mask walking through the Swiss town of Verbier in December 2020. Around 300 British tourists who had been forced to quarantine went missing in late December. The escape led to a spread of the British virus mutation throughout Switzerland and eventually Europe, critics argue. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A spectator wearing a protective face mask uses his smartphone during the Swiss National League ice hockey match between Lausanne HC and SCL Tigers in Lausanne on October 1, 2020. Switzerland allowed 1,000 people to attend events from October onwards, before quickly backtracking as a second wave of the virus swept across Europe and the world. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A spectator wearing a protective face mask uses his smartphone during the Swiss National League ice hockey match between Lausanne HC and SCL Tigers in Lausanne on October 1, 2020. Switzerland allowed 1,000 people to attend events from October onwards, before quickly backtracking as a second wave of the virus swept across Europe and the world. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A demonstrator wave a Swiss national flag during a protest against coronavirus measures in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
A demonstrator wave a Swiss national flag during a protest against coronavirus measures in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland installed plexiglas boxes in parliament to protect politicians when sessions resumed in autumn of 2020. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland installed plexiglas boxes in parliament to protect politicians when sessions resumed in autumn of 2020. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Months after saying masks were not necessary to prevent transmission of the virus, Switzerland relented by putting in place a mask requirement in July of 2020. Switzerland was the last of its neighbours to do so. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Months after saying masks were not necessary to prevent transmission of the virus, Switzerland relented by putting in place a mask requirement in July of 2020. Switzerland was the last of its neighbours to do so. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Chocolate bunnies complete with face masks in Easter of 2020. STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP
Chocolate bunnies complete with face masks in Easter of 2020. STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP

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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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