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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Signs pointing to Heidi’s village in Maienfeld. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Health situation has not worsened since the lifting of restrictions

Coronavirus-related infections have fallen to a low level in Switzerland, showing that the easing of many pandemic rules in recent weeks has not had any negative effects, according Rudolf Hauri, president of the Association of Cantonal Doctors.

However, he noted that as the virus has not disappeared altogether, local outbreaks can still happen, especially among people who have not been vaccinated.

No Covid certificate for people screened with antigen test

People who have recovered from the coronavirus (along with those who have been vaccinated)  can apply for the health pass.

However it turns out that only those been detected by a PCR test are eligible for the certificate.

The form needed to receive the pass clearly states that “If your COVID-19 infection was solely confirmed by a rapid antigen test, it is not possible to issue a COVID certificate under the EU regulations”.

This regulation affects an estimated 70,000 residents of Switzerland who tested positive using an antigen test.

READ MORE: How to get Switzerland’s Covid-19 health pass

You will have to pay to go to the emergency room for a minor case

The Council of States accepted a parliamentary initiative to bill people who seek treatment in the emergency room for non-urgent health issues a fee of 50 francs, which the patients would have to pay out of their own pockets.

MPs argued that this measure may dissuade those who are not seriously ill from going to the emergency room and overloading the system, while also taking medical staff away from patients who need urgent help.

Exemptions could apply to children and adolescents under the age of 16, patients referred to the emergency room by a doctor, and those whose treatment subsequently requires hospitalisation.

Geneva gives 326 million francs to France

The French border departments of Haute-Savoie and Ain received this money, which comes from the withholding tax levied on salaries of approximately 87,000 cross-border workers employed in the canton, for the fiscal year 2020.

This is 11 million more than France received for taxes collected in 2019.

Cross-border employees are taxed in Geneva, but a portion of the money goes back to their French communes of residence to finance infrastructure projects of regional importance, in particular those managing mobility on both sides of the border.

The same system is in place for cross-border workers from Italy and Germany.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What cross-border workers should know about taxation in Switzerland

Citizens of St. Gallen voted to keep Heidi out of their canton

The quintessential Swiss mountain girl, Heidi, was supposed to get a whole new village built for her in St. Gallen’s Flumserberg region. But the 40-million-franc project, which was supposed to bring in over 200,000 visitors to the area, was rejected by 591 out of 742 local voters.

However, the character created  by writer Johanna Spyri in 1880 still has a home in Swiss Alps. It is located in a quaint Heidi-themed village of Maienfeld, in canton Graubünden, which is visited each year by about 150,000 tourists from around the world.

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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