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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Shops are re-opening in Switzerland on Monday. Photo by TIM BOYLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP
Find out what's going on in Switzerland today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

Shutdown measures partially lifted

Starting today, non-essential shops, museums and library reading rooms will reopen, along with outdoor sports and leisure facilities, zoos and botanical gardens.

Outdoor events for up to 15 people will also be permitted, but indoors the limit of up to five people is still maintained.

“With this cautious reopening, the Federal Council is aiming to achieve a gradual normalisation of social and economic life, even though the epidemiological situation remains precarious because new, more infectious variants of the virus are circulating,” the government said in a statement. 

Restaurants are not expected to resume activities before March 22nd at the earliest.

READ MORE: Switzerland set to decide if restaurants can reopen in March

Unemployment continues to increase amid pandemic

The ‘employment barometer’ published by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows that Swiss labour market had 5.135 million fewer jobs in the secondary and tertiary sectors in the last three months of 2020 than in the same period of 2019.

Employment fell by 1.2 percent in the secondary sector (industry and construction) and by 0.2 percent in the tertiary sector (services).

There was also a particularly marked drop in the hotel and restaurant sector, as well as in temporary jobs.

Number of cross-border workers on the rise at the end of 2020

At the end of December 2020, there were around 344,000 foreign cross-border workers in Switzerland —up 1.4 percent compared to the last three months of 2019.

Just over half of the border workforce came from France (55.2 percent); 23.4 percent came from Italy, and 18.1 percent from Germany. 

Over the past five years, the number of cross-border workers has increased from 303,000 in in 2015 to 344,000 at the end of 2020.

The Local will publish an article about this in Monday afternoon.

One minute of silence to be observed on Friday

President Guy Parmelin proposed a ‘national minute of silence’ on Friday March 5th at noon to honor the memory of the nearly 9,300 people who died from Covid in Switzerland.

March 5th will mark one year since the pandemic claimed its first victim in Switzerland, a 74-year-old woman who died in Vaud. 

Parmelin suggested that the churches ring their bells to announce the minute of silence. “Everyone knows someone who has been sick or someone who has lost a loved one. This will allow some reflection on this pandemic, in all simplicity,” he said.

The “rebel” cantons finally close their ski slope restaurants

Six cantons that allowed their ski areas to keep outdoor restaurant seating open for skiers, finally complied with the federal decree and are shutting the terraces as of today.

The cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Glarus and Ticino finally gave in to the pressure from Bern to close the terraces.

Health Minister Alain Berset reiterated that the federal rules about the closing of public eating venues leave “no room for interpretation” to individual cantons.

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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