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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Are waiting rooms Covid spreaders' Photo by MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Unsanitary conditions in vaccination centres

Many people who have to queue up to get their Covid shots are complaining about unsafe conditions common in vaccination centres, Swiss media reported.

Most complaints are in regard to crowded waiting rooms, causing concern about the risks of catching coronavirus while waiting for the shot.

However, the risk of infection in a vaccination centre “is extremely low”, according to epidemiologist Andreas Cerny, who said these venues “have well-planned processes to prevent long queues from forming.”

He added that to avoid waiting in line, people should not come for their appointment ahead of time and follow distance rules.  “Fear of infection in the vaccination centre is unfounded”, he noted.

Swiss railways are ramping up international traffic

After months of massively reduced offers, Switzerland’s train system (SBB) is expanding its international connections, especially with neighbouring countries.

For instance, in cooperation with Trenitalia, SBB plans to offer more direct trains to Milan, Como and Genoa from the end of May.  Currently, there are only two daily trains from Zurich to Italy, and one each from Basel and Geneva.

Also starting this week, there will be four daily connections between Paris and Geneva, two between Paris and Lausanne, and three between Paris and Zurich

From May 23rd, the night trains from Swiss cities to Hamburg and Berlin will also resume service. 

Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Most in Switzerland support agreement with the European Union

The majority of Switzerland’s population — 64 percent —are in favour of the framework agreement that the Swiss government has been negotiating with the EU since 2014, reveals a new survey by the gsf.bern polling institute.

Even though the negotiations came to a standstill in recent weeks, 54 percent of respondents  believe that bilateral treaties are beneficial for Switzerland, while only 16 percent see more disadvantages.

Bern and Brussels are seeking to seal a long-delayed cooperation agreement, but the talks hit a stumbling block over the issue of free movement of people, which allows EU citizens to live and work in Switzerland, and vice versa.

READ MORE: Why freedom of movement a ‘sticking point’ in Swiss-EU talks

Mobile vaccination units to crisscross Vaud

From May 18th, mobile teams will be driving throughout the canton to inoculate those who are not able to come to vaccination centres.  Initially, around 30 municipalities will be served, cantonal authorities announced.

The mobile units will be an addition to the 14 stationary vaccination centres, as well as a number of pharmacies and medical practices.

To access these mobile services, appointments can be made online or by calling 058-715-1100

READ MORE: How to get the coronavirus vaccine in Vaud

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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