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

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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Travel quarantine rules could be eased. Photo by

Switzerland’s quarantine rule could be eased

With the summer holidays only weeks away, the Federal Council could relax quarantine requirements for travellers, according to NZZ am Sonntag.

Switzerland could follow the example set by Germany, where the quarantine obligation was lifted on Saturday for people who were vaccinated or recovered from Covid.

“It seems unrealistic to abolish travel quarantines altogether. Everything relating to tracing, isolation and quarantine remains one of the pillars of the fight against this pandemic”, said Karim Boubaker, Vaud’s cantonal doctor.  

“But I think we can become selective in making decisions about people who are immune to coronavirus”, he added.

Politicians are calling for the dissolution of the Covid-19 Task Force

The task force is under fire after its experts had erroneously predicted that number of coronavirus cases in Switzerland would reach 10,000 a day after the phase-out of restrictions.

Meanwhile, while outdoor restaurants were opened and some other restriction were lifted at the end of April, the number of infections has been falling steadily.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Why are Switzerland’s coronavirus numbers falling so sharply?

MP Thomas Matter from the Swiss People’s Party is accusing the task force of being too “alarmist” and “spreading horror stories”, saying its experts should be dismissed.

Another deputy, Marcel Dobler from the Liberal Party also said the task force should  “not base its recommendations on the worst-case scenarios. This creates fear in the population”.

When questioned about the prediction, Task Force’s vice-chairman Urs Karrer “was somewhat embarrassed”, according to Tribune de Genève.

He said that the models the experts used to make the prediction “will be re-examined”.

New map details hailstorms

Every year, hailstorms in Switzerland cause damages amounting to several million francs and represent one of the country’s greatest natural hazards, according to National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS).

But since existing documents show great disparities, the NCCS has created a new national map, based on measurements taken from 40,000 hailstorms, presenting the locations and frequencies of these events in more detail.

For example, the map shows that it hails particularly often in summer along the Jura, as well as in the cantons of Bern, Luzern and Ticino. And hailstones reach a maximum size of 2 cm, the equivalent of a one franc coin, 32 times a year in Switzerland.

This NCCS  map shows the size of hailstones in various regions

Switzerland’s immunity card option is selected

After considering 52 proposals for the Covid cerificate / immunity card, the Federal Council opted for the solution proposed by the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT).

“The system for issuing a forgery-proof Covid certificate on request to anyone who has been vaccinated, has recovered from or has recently tested negative for coronavirus will be available by the end of June 2021”, the government said.  

The government said it would provide more information about FOITT’s solution, which is compatible with the EU’s Digital Green Certificate, “at an upcoming press briefing”.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Everything you need to know about the ‘green pass’, Switzerland’s coronavirus immunity card

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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For members


Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
MPs debate tax breaks for childcare services. Photo by Rashid Sadykov on Unsplash

Geneva vaccination centres will remain open despite USA-Russia summit

Although certain parts of the city will be shut on Wednesday due to the meeting this week between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, health authorities have said that Geneva’s vaccination facilities will continue to operate.

Even if some modifications will have to be made, “their impact will be minimal”, according to the cantonal pharmacist Nathalie Vernaz-Hegi.

READ MORE: Historic Swiss lakeside villa spruced up for Biden-Putin talks

Night trains and buses will resume their activity in July

Suspended since November, following the Federal Council’s decision to close restaurants at 11 pm, public transportation has not, or rarely, operated during the night since that time.
This is set to change in July, especially as there are now enough train drivers, particularly in the German-speaking Switzerland.
Shortages still remain in the French-speaking areas, as well as Ticino, but they should be resolved by fall.

Parents might be able to deduct more taxes for daycare costs

The parliament is debating about increasing the deduction for childcare costs, from 6,500 to 10,000 francs.

MP Christa Markwalder proposed this motion, arguing that it would allow a better reconciliation of professional and family life, as well as better integration of women into the labour market.

Opponents, however, claim  that such a deduction would lead to considerable tax losses, without having any positive effect on equality between men and women.

However, the proposal has every chance of succeeding, supporters say.

READ MORE: How to decide where to live in Switzerland based on affordability

Deportations of foreign criminals should be improved for minor cases, MPs say

The National Council has widely adopted a motion proposing several changes to criminal law relating to the expulsion of foreigners who commit crimes in Switzerland,

The motion proposes three options.

Firstly, the Public Prosecutor’s Office should be empowered to order expulsion in minor cases. Today, only a court can make this decision.

Secondly, foreign defendants without a residence permit or who entered Switzerland solely with the intention of committing a crime, should no longer be entitled to a defense.

Finally, the list of offenses must be re-examined to exclude minor ones; this includes contraventions leading to compulsory expulsion, in particular when they were committed by young foreigners who grew up in Switzerland.

Swiss residents opt to invest their money in pension funds

People in Switzerland have a marked preference for placing their money in pension funds and life insurance over other investment options, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group.

The study showed that the two investment vehicles accounted for 41 percent of the estimated $3.3 trillion of financial wealth in 2020.

Next — 32 percent — are deposits in foreign currencies, followed by equities and investment funds (23 percent).

At the end of 2020, the share of Swiss financial assets was more than 6 percent of  Western Europe’s.

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]