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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
No systematic checks at Swiss-Italian border. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP
Find out what's going on in Switzerland today with The Local's short round-up of the news.

Swiss-German cantons call for total re-opening of restaurants

Four cantons in the German-speaking part of Switzerland have come together to urge the Federal Council to fully re-open restaurants on March 22nd, not just the outdoor seating areas, as is currently planned.

In a joint statement addressed to the federal authorities, the neighbouring cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Innerrhoden and Appenzell Ausserrhoden said number of people allowed inside the restaurant “should be in relation to the surface and the ventilation measures”.

They also said that for both outdoor and indoor areas, thy would enforce compulsory seating, a maximum of four people per table, contact data collection from all diners, and a 1.5-metre distance between tables.

Working from home to continue until April

The obligation to work from home whenever possible, which was introduced on January 18th, will be in place at least until April.

At that time, the measure could be relaxed, in particular for the companies which carry out regular Covid tests on their employees.

Swiss President Guy Parmelin called the home office obligation a “decisive element in the slowdown in the number of coronavirus cases”, the reason for which the government wants to maintain this obligation for as long as economically feasible.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are the rules of Switzerland’s obligation to work from home?

Switzerland will not step up border checks at Italian border

As the Lombardy region of Italy is now in the red zone due to a surge in the number of Covid cases, Ticino officials asked federal authorities to strengthen controls at the border.

However, head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police, Karin Keller Sutter, said Switzerland will not implement systematic checks at the Italian border. 

This decision prompted criticism from Ticino’s Lega party, which “strongly condemns the scandalous indifference of the Federal Council”.

 It noted that “already a year ago, Ticino suffered the first pandemic wave precisely because of the free movement of people from Lombardy”.

The Local will publish today an article about the situation at all Switzerland’s borders.

Women in Switzerland will retire later

Despite opposition from the left-wing parties, the Council of States voted to raise the retirement age for women from 64 to 65 — same as for men.

This move is expected to achieve 1.4 billion in savings in the social security (AHV/AVS pensions) by 2030.

In the future, early retirement will be a possibility for everyone from the age of 63, and it will be possible for both sexes to work until the age of 70.

The Federal Council has been working on reforming the current pension system for several years, including raising the retirement age for women.

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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