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

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
A sign is seen at the new vaccination center using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus at the Parc des Expositions in Bordeaux, southwestern France, on April 8, 2021, during a vaccination campaign to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP)

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.


The pandemic in Switzerland is diminishing, experts say

“The epidemiological situation is reassuring", Virginie Masserey, head of the infection control section at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), said at a press conference.

She added that over the past two weeks, "there has been a stabilisation of new infections and hospitalisations, which does not contradict the decision to allow cautious re-openings" of the economy.

Masserey attributed the improving situation to factors such as vaccination, more time spent outdoors, and more tests, which help control the spread of the virus. “But there is no guarantee that it will continue like this,” she warned.


Hundreds of Canadian nurses could lose their Swiss jobs 

For years, Vaud hospitals have been employing nurses from Quebec, as there is shortage of Swiss-trained nursing staff.

However, from August 1st, 2021 their Canadian diplomas will no longer be recognised in Switzerland, as the training they received is less extensive :  2,500 hours in Canada, against 5,500 in Switzerland.

For this reason, these nurses will lose their status and will be relegated to community health aides instead, unless cantonal authorities modify the rules.

At least one MP sides with the nurses.

"It's a simple question of consistency: we cannot recruit qualified foreign workers and then expel them from our labour market for no valid reason", said Vaud councillor Jean- François Chapuisat.

Enough signatures collected for same-sex marriage referendum

The Federal Chancellery said that opponents of the same-marriage law had collected 61,027 valid signatures to bring the issue to a vote — more than the 50,000 required to launch a referendum.

On December 2020, Swiss parliament approved same-sex marriage, but conservative groups like the Swiss People’s Party and the Federal Democratic Union vowed to repeal the legislation, arguing that marriage "must remain the natural union of a man and a woman".

The date of the referendum has not yet been set

READ MORE: Switzerland to hold same-sex marriage referendum


Village cannon under fire in Solothurn

A weapons collector from Günsberg filed a request with the Village Construction Commission to install a functioning cannon on his property.  His neighbours and local parish are up in arms over this idea.

“A cannon in the middle of the village looks very threatening”, said one resident, who added that she’d have to walk by the weapon on her way to get her mail or do her shopping.

The local parish also shot down this idea, arguing that the presence of a cannon in the village would “convey a negative image”.

The collector responded that if he can’t install the cannon in front of his house, “it will have to stay on a trailer, 15 metres away”.

Or, he can just get a garden gnome.


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