Swiss news For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 31 May, 2021 Updated Mon 31 May 2021 07:57 CEST
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Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Many Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

Starting today, many measures are relaxed or lifted altogether.

Among them are the re-opening of indoor areas of restaurants, increasing the number of people allowed for private gatherings indoors to 30 and outdoors to 50. For events with spectators and audiences, 100 people instead of 50 will be permitted indoors, and 300 instead of 100 outdoors.

Home working obligation will be lifted for companies that perform regular testing, and no contact or travel quarantine will be required for those fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid for six months.

More details can be found here.

British mutation still the most prevalent in Switzerland

The British variant continues to be largely dominant in Switzerland, said Laurent Kaiser, chief medical officer of the Infectious Diseases Service of Geneva University Hospitals. Its is responsible for more than 90 percent of all detected Covid cases in the country.

The Brazilian, South African and Indian variants represent only between 3 and 4% of the cases for the time being.

The Indian variant is particularly scrutinised. "It exhibits more or less similar transmissibility to the English variant," Kaiser said.

"The question is whether there will be any competitiveness between the two. We don't have that impression in Switzerland at the moment."

Government lodges criminal complaint over leaked EU talks information

The Federal Council opened criminal proceedings against unknown persons for violation of official secrecy.

It is in relation to leaks of internal documents that were made public during the decision-making process on the framework agreement between Switzerland and the European Union.

Due to this infraction, the Swiss media has released leaked information, including an internal report listing the consequences of a breakdown in negotiations.

The media said information came from "inside sources”.

READ MORE: ‘Significant differences’: Switzerland cuts talks with EU over cooperation agreement

The initiative for a 13th social security payment gathered enough signatures

The 137,550 signatures in favour of the initiative for a 13th AHV/AVS pension were handed over to the Federal Chancellery on Friday afternoon by the alliance which supports this project.

The aim of the popular initiative "Better Living in Retirement" is to institute the same system for the payment of pensions as for salaries — that is, paying the annual amount of the benefits in 13 installments instead of 12.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What is the 13th salary in Switzerland and how is it calculated?

The date of the vote on this initiative has not yet been set.

The day pass for public transport is extended until 2023

The day pass issued by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and distributed by municipalities will remain available in its present paper form until the end of 2023.

Plans to digitalise these tickets were abandoned for the time being because not all municipalities are computerised, or at least not to the same degree.

However, a commission has been set up to find a satisfactory alternative from 2024.

The tickets, which can be purchased from communes of residence at a reduced price, allow the holders to travel anywhere in Switzerland on all public transportation during one day.


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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/05/31 07:57

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