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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
More trains will circuate between Switzerland and Italy. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Switzerland starts issuing Covid certificates

Switzerland’s much awaited Covid health passes for people who have been fully vaccinated, recovered from coronavirus or recently tested negative, will be released in stages starting today.

“The system will be implemented gradually and it will be ready for use throughout Switzerland at the end of June 2021”, the government announced.

Certificates will be available either on paper or in electronic form (i.e. through a QR code).

In both cases, they will be accompanied by an official government electronic signature, while authorities said holders will also need to show their ID or passport when presenting the certificate

READ MORE: Switzerland to issue first Covid-19 passes on Monday

Switzerland approves coronavirus vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds

The country’s regulatory body Swissmedic has authorised the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine for ages 12 through 15.

While there has been some debate about the usefulness of inoculating this age group, Urs Karrer, president of Switzerland’s Covid-19 Task Force, pointed out that “vaccinating children is perfectly reasonable if we want to achieve herd immunity”.

Aargau is the first canton to announce that adolescents in this age group can already register for the vaccine.

READ MORE: Children in Switzerland could get vaccinated at age 10, even if parents refuse


Higher tax rates will put some cantons ‘under pressure’

The Group of Seven wealthy democracies (G7) has decided on Saturday to support a new global minimum tax rate — 15 percent — that companies would have to pay, regardless of where their headquarters are located.

This means that most Swiss cantons would have to increase their corporate tax rates.

Right now, 16 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons tax corporations less than 15 percent of their income, with Zug offering the lowest rate, at just over 12 percent.

As a result of this measure, “tax competition between cantons will be reduced ”, said Jan-Egbert Sturm, professor of economics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.

First Swiss victims of the breakdown in negotiations with the EU

The end of the negotiations between Bern and Brussels has claimed its first victim: the health technology sector.

Several medical companies can no longer export their goods to the European Union, according to Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

That’s because their products that are certified in Switzerland are no longer recognised in the EU and European companies are refusing to import them for fear of violating EU rules.

One of the affected companies, Precimed in Biel (BE), which manufactures high-precision bone drills, “lost around a third of its business overnight”, according to its director Rudolf Eggen.

Rail links between Switzerland Italy expanded

From June 13th , Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will add a train between Milan and Geneva. The direct Geneva-Venice connection will be put into service as well.

On the Lötschberg line, two additional trains between Basel-Milan are planned, along with s Milan-Basel-Frankfurt link. Also, three more trains are added on the Gotthard axis, between Zurich / Basel and Milan, between Zurich and Venice, as well as between Frankfurt – Lucerne and Milan.

As a reminder, international links to Paris resumed in mid-May. Four connections are available from Geneva, two from Lausanne and three from Zurich.

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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