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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Greece is the top destination for Swiss tourists this summer. Photo by ARIS MESSINIS / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Covid-19 law: If at first you don’t succeed, try again

Even though more than 60 percent of Swiss voters approved the Covid-19 Act in a vote on June 13th, opponents are collecting signatures again to launch a second referendum to repeal the law.

“As expected, the lies and the disinformation campaign of the Federal Council, have met with partial success”, opponents of the Covid law said after results were tallied up on Sunday.

Assuming the 50,000 signatures are collected and deposited with at Federal he Chancellery in early July, the referendum could not be held until November.

Read about the reactions in Switzerland to referendum results in our article today.

READ MORE: Referendum result: Swiss snub pesticide ban but welcome anti-terror law

Vaccinated Americans will be able to come to Switzerland at last

The Federal Council announced that due to the favourable epidemiological situation in Switzerland, the country will be opening its borders to vaccinated tourists from third nations, including the USA, from June 28th , five days after ratifying the current ordinance banning entry.

However, travellers from countries where ‘variants of concern’ are circulating — currently they are Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa, Nepal, and the UK —unless they have been vaccinated. All others will still have to present a negative test and will be required to quarantine upon arrival.

The Local will publish a detailed article about this easing.

READ MORE: How does a country ever get off Switzerland’s ‘variant’ list?

Basel-City to introduce a minimum wage

The citizens of Basel voted on Sunday in favour of introducing a minimum wage set at 21 francs an hour.

It is the first German-speaking canton to approve this measure, after three Swiss-French cantons, Neuchâtel, Jura, and Geneva, and the Italian-speaking Ticino, have already done so.

The minimum hourly salary ranges from 19 francs in Ticino to 23.14 in Geneva.

Switzerland donates AstraZeneca vaccine to needy countries

It is official: the AstraZeneca vaccine will not be used in Switzerland. The 5.3 million doses that the government ordered will be donated to nations where there is a shortage of Covid vaccines.

Authorities decided to give up this vaccine because they prefer to rely on Pfizer / Biontech and Moderna products, which use the RNA technology, believed to be more effective against the disease and its variants, according to a report in SonntagsZeitung.

Another reason is that AstraZeneca’s reputation has suffered after some people developed rare side effects and died after being given doses of the vaccine.

Bookings for foreign holidays are up

Residents of Switzerland are heading abroad this summer in droves: according to Hotelplan tour agency, there has been a 50-percent increase in reservations for beach destinations when compared to 2019.

Greece is by far the most popular choice, followed by Cyprus and Spain, including its islands of Mallorca and the Canaries.

This trend can be attributed to the easing of entry restrictions in these countries and the progress of the vaccination campaign in Switzerland, said Hotelplan general manager of Tim Bachmann.

“The fact that the Federal Council no longer advises against tourist travel abroad and that important tourist are no longer considered unsafe also has a positive effect”, he added.

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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