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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
Swiss president calls for a minute of silence to honor victims of Covid. Photo by SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
Find out what's going on in Switzerland today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

Today: Church bells and a minute of silence in tribute to victims of Covid-19

At 11:59 am, church bells will ring across Switzerland, followed by a minute of silence to honor the memory of the nearly 9,300 people who died from coronavirus in Switzerland.

Swiss president Guy Parmelin chose this day for the tribute to mark the one-year anniversary since the pandemic claimed its first victim in Switzerland, a 74-year-old woman who died in Vaud on March 5th, 2020. 

“A moment of mourning and reflection, the minute’s silence should also allow us to focus on the solidarity and friendship. These are the elements that will enable us to move forward, to look to the future and overcome the crisis” Parmelin said.

READ MORE: What has changed in Switzerland since the first Covid-19 case was detected?

For the first time in 2021, the number of Covid cases has increased

During the week of February 22th to 28th, there were 251 more confirmed infections than the week before, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)  reported.

This is the biggest increase since December 2020.

Some 7,235 cases were reported, compared to 6,984 the week before, an increase of 3.6 percent.

The incidence rate also went up from 81.8 to 83.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The highest is in Neuchâtel with 146.7 /100,000, though this number has dropped considerably in one week, from 191.5

One in five Swiss restaurants went out of business

A recent survey of restaurant and hotel sectors shows that nearly 20 percent of establishments in gastronomy and hospitality industry had to close their doors due to prolonged closures. Another 20 percent are on the verge of doing so.

The survey was conducted by the industry association GastroSuisse, which also found that nearly half of the applicants in the sector who have filed a request for financial help have been waiting for a response for several weeks. Currently, non-refundable contributions cover significantly less than 10 percent of the turnover. 

Switzerland’s 10 favourite employers

The Handelszeitung newspaper has conducted a survey to find out which companies in Switzerland are most employee-friendly.

All the firms are Swiss and several are family-owned.

Soft drink company Rivella took the top spot, followed by lift manufacturer Schindler in the second place, the Swiss Paraplegic Group (3), Chocolate Frey (4), Rigi mountain transportation (5), Patek Philippe watch manufacturer (6), World Wildlife Fund WWF (7), Anliker construction (8),  Breitling watches (9), and Rhätische Bahn railways (10).

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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