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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Farmers are looking for helping hands. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Due to Covid, Landsgemeinde is cancelled this year — again

For the second year in a row — and the second time in its 600-year-old  history — Appenzell Innerrhoden had to give up its traditional Landsgemeinde this month.

Instead of the open-air assembly where hundreds of people gather to vote on various issues by show of hands, canton’s residents cast their votes the way people elsewhere in Switzerland do — in the ballot box.

“Appenzell is not the same without Landsgemeinde. There is something missing, because this tradition is in our hearts”, said District Secretary Patrik Lenzi.

Regional public transport is punctual and clean, report says

Regional trains and buses that run all over Switzerland are generally in good condition and run on time, according to a new report by the Federal Office of Transport (FOT).

Regional transport is considered punctual if it arrives at its destination less than three minutes late. In this respect, trains are more efficient than buses, with around 95 percent on average arriving on time at their destination.

However, the direct trains of the RegioExpress and Interregio type, do less well than the trains serving urban areas (RER / S-Bahn) and those providing connections to mountains and countryside.

As for regional buses, about 90 percent are punctual. In this sector, transportation in the countryside and in the mountains obtains better results than in urban areas, the study found.

And the winners are………

For the sixth year in a row, the RepTrak Company has carried out its Brand Reputation Study to find which Swiss brands consumers in Switzerland like and respect most.

The companies were judged on categories such as product or service quality, innovation, quality as an employer, and environmental awareness and performance.

The study concluded that large corporations “have a reputational disadvantage” and people “appreciate companies that are familiar and close to them”.

The top 10 most respected Swiss companies are: Ricola, Migros, Touring Club Suisse (TCS), Lindt & Sprüngli, Rolex, Rivella, Die Mobiliar, Zweifel, Hilti, and Coop.

Swiss mountain farmers are looking for volunteers

Normally, scores of volunteers from abroad help Alpine farmers in their daily chores. But due to travel restrictions, this year the farmers are hoping help will come from within the country.

Caritas, an organisation helping to find about 1,400 urgently needed volunteers, is looking for “people who appreciate the insight into a new world, who are looking for a connection to nature, and who want to secure the livelihood of mountain farmers”.

The tasks include harvesting hay, looking after animals, helping around the house, and other chores.

Anyone wishing to work on a mountain farm for at least a week must be at least 18 years old and physically fit. It is also important that applicants have not visited a risk area 10 days before the assignment, Caritas said.

More information and applications (in German, French and Italian) are available here.

Geneva vaccinates undocumented migrants

An estimated 10,000 illegal immigrants who live in the canton can now get their Covid shots through the Geneva Red Cross.

Besides undocumented migrants, vaccines are also available to people without health insurance and those who have not paid their premiums due to lack of money. However, proof of presence in the canton for at least three months — for instance invoices, bus tickets, etc. — must be shown.

READ MORE: How to get the coronavirus vaccine in Geneva

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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