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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
SWISS will change its flight path to avoid Belarus. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

More Covid restrictions are likely to be lifted

The Federal Council will decide this afternoon on measures to be eased as of May 31st.

Given a favourable epidemiological situation in the country, authorities will likely announce the much awaited re-opening of interior areas of restaurants, according to Blick newspaper, which based its report on information from official sources.

It is also likely that the limit for private gatherings will be raised to 30 people indoors and 50 outside.

The home working requirement will probably be lifted as well, Blick said

READ MORE: Switzerland to open indoor restaurants and allow larger events by end May

No English s’il vous plaît

Geneva’s Council of State banned tourist signs in English from A1 motorway leading into the canton.

Deputies sided with MP Boris Calame who said he became alarmed when he found out that Geneva’s tourism officials were planning to display some signs in English.

As for signs in both English and French, they were deemed “difficult to read” and also ruled out.

“The language of Geneva is French”, Calame said.

Manor to sell more brands online

Swiss department store Manor is opening its platform, manor.ch, to dozens of international stores, mainly in the fashion, household and beauty categories.

They will include Maisons du Monde, Darty, El Corte Inglés, Galeries Lafayette, Metro, and Carrefour.

For consumers in Switzerland, this expansion means that 100 new brands and retailers, along with about new 200,000 items, will be available for purchase online by the end of this year.

SWISS no longer flies over Belarus

Like many other airlines, Switzerland’s flagship carrier announced it would no longer fly over the Belarus airspace.

The decision was made after the rerouting of an European airliner to Minsk on Sunday to arrest a dissident of the Alexander Lukashenko regime.

The timetables for SWISS flights and connections will not be affected by the change in flight path, except for “few minutes more” that a Zurich-Hong Kong flight can take, the airline said.

Diplomats rack up 1.4 million francs in unpaid bills

Foreign diplomats who work in Switzerland are largely protected from prosecution if they commit offenses.

For instance, they routinely don’t pay traffic fines and often skip on paying for various products and services provided by local businesses.

Now Swiss media reports that employees of various embassies and consulates in Bern and Geneva have incurred debts totaling around 1.4 million francs. However, collecting the owed money would require creditors to sue diplomats in court and demand that their diplomatic immunity be lifted. This is theoretically possible, but unlikely.

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]

 


Member comments

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  1. Yet again today when I read the New York Times on line, there is Roger Federer AGAIN encouraging me to come to Switzerland. This huge ad campaign has been going on for at least a month. These ads are clearly targeted at US citizens. Roger is asking Robert DeNiro to come to Switzerland to make a film and they run in the New York Times. Does anybody in the Swiss Government or Swiss National Tourism understand they are working at cross purposes! Why launch such a campaign to people you refuse to allow into your country? The campaign’s tag line is “I Need Switzerland! Well, I do need Switzerland but even though Roger is encouraging me, I cannot come in!

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