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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Could such gatherings be allowed in the summer? Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Relaxed coronavirus measures begin today

Restaurants and bars are now allowed to open their outdoor seating areas again, along with cinemas and other leisure and sports facilities.

The Federal Council decided to lift these restrictions, even though it qualified the current epidemiological situation in the country as “fragile”.

This chart shows what the rules are in Switzerland starting today.

Federal Office of Public Health

READ MORE: Reader question: Will gyms and fitness centres open again from Monday?

A “vaccinodrome” opens in Geneva

This massive venue, located in the Palexpo exhibition centre near the Geneva airport, will vaccinate between 3,000 and 4,000 people per day, which will allow to speed up the pace of inoculations in the canton.

Its opening today coincides with the start of vaccinations for residents age 45 and up, Geneva authorities said.

Similar venues, which have the capacity to inoculate several thousand  people each day are already operational at Zurich’s and Basel’s convention centres.

More areas added to the quarantine list

Starting today, four regions of neighbouring countries have been added to Switzerland’s high-risk list, meaning travellers from these areas must quarantine upon arrival.

These regions are France’s Région Bretagne and Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Land Sachsen in Germany, and Regione Puglia in Italy.

On April 16th, Canada was also added to the list.

The entire list can be seen here.

The Federal Council could add two more members

The idea of increasing the number of Federal Councillors from the traditional seven to nine had been brought up and rejected in 2016.

But now it is re-launched in the parliament. “A Federal Council made up of nine members makes it possible to better represent not only the balance of power between the political parties, but also the genders, the different regions of the country and linguistic communities”, according to the National Institutions Committee, which proposed this change.

This issue will be debated at one of the upcoming sessions of the parliament.

Large events may be permitted from July

Health Minister Alain Berset said that public events of up to 1,000 people may be authorised from July.

Then, from September, public gatherings of up to 5,000 people will be permitted.

This week, Berset will submit the plan for the re-launching of major events to the Federal Council. The cantons will be consulted before any decisions are made based on the evolution of 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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