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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 17 May, 2021 Updated Mon 17 May 2021 07:44 CEST
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PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 14: Passengers wear protective face masks in a airplane before take-off at the Phoenix International Airport on March 14, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Passengers are wearing masks to avoid the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Carol Coelho/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Carol Coelho / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

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

Vaccinated people will have priority for Covid pass

The pass is intended for everyone who has developed immunity to coronavirus, either through the vaccine or infection and recovery from Covid.

However, when the certificate is issued in Switzerland  — expected at the end of June — it will be initially available only to those who had the two doses of the vaccine, said Tages Anzeiger, basing this information on sources from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Those who have recovered from Covid or received a negative test result, will still have to wait a while to receive the certificate, according to FOPH.

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

Vaccines for adolescents to be approved in June

The drug authority Swissmedic wants to authorise Covid vaccines for 12  to 15-year-olds by the end of June, according to NZZ am Sonntag.

Approval of the Pfizer/ Biontech vaccine for this age group should allow immunisations to begin in Switzerland when school starts after the summer holidays, said  Christoph Berger, president of the Federal Commission for Vaccination Issues.

Mask requirement on airplanes will continue

Even though everyone travelling  on SWISS flights has to show a negative Covid test before boarding, and an increasing number of passengers are vaccinated, face masks will remain compulsory on all flights.

“We will certainly have to wear masks for a few more years”, Dieter Vranckx, head of Switzerland’s flagship carrier said in an interview with SonntagsZeitung.

"We have also introduced strict rules for boarding and cleaning, which we will continue to apply," he added.

Over 100 vaccinated people contracted Covid

Of the nearly 1.2 million fully vaccinated people in Switzerland, 129 have been re-infected with the coronavirus, data from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) indicates.

“This is not surprising”, said FOPH spokesperson Grégoire Gogniat, explaining that although the efficacy rate of vaccines is very high —95 percent for Pfizer / BioNTech and 94 percent for Moderna — it is not 100 percent.

Also, the effectiveness of the vaccine may be lower in the elderly, Gogniat pointed out, adding that both vaccines “are also effective against the variants, in particular the Indian one”

Travel from Switzerland to Italy just got easier

Since May 16th, it is no longer necessary to go into quarantine when arriving in Italy from  the European Union and the Schengen area, including Switzerland.

This means it will become easier for Ticino residents to cross the border to go shopping, though the requirement to present a negative Covid test, not older than 48 hours,  still remains.

There’s no need to quarantine when returning from the Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont, which share a border with Switzerland, but it remains mandatory for those coming from Basilicata, Campania and Puglia, which are included on Switzerland’s list of high-risk areas.

READ MORE: Switzerland: Germany relaxes restrictions on cross-border shopping

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]





Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/05/17 07:44

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