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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
August 1st fireworks over Geneva. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Better weather, but stay away from lakes and rivers

After days of heavy precipitation and flooding in many parts of the country, no more rain is expected in Switzerland until at least Friday evening.

But despite ideal weather for swimming, experts warn that many lakes and rivers remain dangerous.

It will take several weeks of dry weather for the waterways to descend to their normal levels, according to the Federal Office for the Environment.

You can stay on top of the situation as it keeps evolving through this link.

READ MORE: Weather update: Lake Zurich bursts banks, Lucerne preparing for flooding

Fake news: Geneva hospital debunks anti-vaxxer’s claims

Known Swiss Covid denier and anti-vaxxer Chloé Frammery announced  on social media that the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) have a special unit for patients with serious effects of vaccination, implying that people suffering from reactions to the shot are so ill, they need hospitalisation.

However, HUG denied this claim, insisting that “this is false information” and urging social media users not to “release unverified information.”

And speaking of anti-vaxxers…

A new dating website that just launched in Switzerland is aimed especially at people who refuse to be vaccinated.

The slogan of the Zurich-based portal Impffrei.love, which charges 22 francs a month for membership, is “Hold hands instead of keeping your distance”.

According to the website’s creators, some 300 people have already joined the service only a few days after its launch.
 
Such a platform, says sociologist Marko Kovic, “risks to further divide our society”.

United States may soon be lifting its travel ban on foreign tourists

US borders have been closed to foreign arrivals — including to people from Switzerland — since March 2020, but the announcement about the possible re-opening is imminent.

According to Associated Press, president Joe Biden told reporters on July 16th that he would announce the date for the lifting of the travel restrictions  “within the next several days”.

Such a move would finally re-establish non-essential travel between Switzerland and the US, especially since vaccinated Americans have been allowed to come to Switzerland since June 28th.

READ MORE: Travel: What documents do Americans need to visit Switzerland?

August 1: Sanctions  for illegal fireworks

As Swiss national holiday is approaching, the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) is warning the population against the importation of unauthorised fireworks.

“Anyone wishing to import fireworks must in principle obtain an import authorisation from the Federal Office of Police,”, FCA says in a press release.  
 
Import of pyrotechnic devices of up to 2.5 kilograms per person is allowed without authorisation, as long as they are not prohibited in Switzerland.
 
However, the importation of fireworks exploding on the ground is not allowed. The importation of “Lady-Crackers” over 22 millimeters in length or over 3 millimeters in diameter is also prohibited.

Banned fireworks “will be sequestered on importation or if an import authorisation is lacking. Any infringement of the law will denounced to the public prosecutor”, FCA said.

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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