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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Slower mail delivery could be on the horizin. Photo by Fabrice Cpffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

New Covid wave will be different from previous ones, Health Minister says

Alain Berset said in an interview on Sunday that the forthcoming pandemic wave will not be the same as the prior outbreaks that hit Switzerland.

That’s because while previously older people were the ones most impacted — in the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths — this time around “the rate of vaccination of people at risk and older generations is over 80 percent”, Berset noted.

Therefore, they will not be affected in the same way as before.

However, the number of contaminations among those under 50 who have not been immunised ”will continue to increase in the near future”, he said.

As for the much-debated booster dose, Berset pointed out that the Federal Council is carefully examining this question with specialists. “”What is certain is that this decision will not be made by the pharmaceutical companies”, he said.

READ MORE: Reader question: How can I get a Covid booster shot in Switzerland?

Berset: Businesses should be more pro-active in supporting Covid certificates

In another interview, Berset called on business circles to get more involved in promoting vaccines.

“Businesses, sports and fitness centres, and cultural organisations, which have suffered so much from the pandemic, should have an interest in vaccinating as many people as possible”, he said.

Instead, many branches are fighting against the health pass.

Berset urged business to “invest this energy to advance immunisation”, for instance, by setting up vaccination units in their facilities.

Companies should vaccinate employees on site, Berset says. Photo by Cole Burston / GETTY IMAGES / AFP

READ MORE: UPDATED: Can you be fired in Switzerland if you refuse the Covid-19 vaccine?

Visits to Geneva hospital with Covid certificate only

From August 23rd, only people who have a Covid Certificate — that is, those vaccinated, recovered, or tested negative — will be allowed to enter the building of the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG).

The screening will be done at the entrance of the establishment.

The measure will apply to all visitors over age 16, those to be hospitalised, as well as outpatients. Only emergencies and other exceptional situations will be exempted from this requirement.

Photo: HUG

Next-day mail delivery could be phased out

For years, the delivery of  “A” priority mail was guaranteed the following day anywhere in Switzerland.

However, it now looks like this service may be  discontinued.

That’s because mail is no longer collected on Sundays in many locations; to cut costs, only 300 mailboxes are emptied on Sundays out of a total of 14,000  boxes across the country.

Additionally, one in two mailboxes is emptied only after 9 am, meaning that much of the mail will not arrive at their destination the next day.

The slower delivery “is a hassle for private households, and for business it is downright damaging”, MP Mauro Tuena said.

Roberto Cirillo, the director of the Post Office, was summoned to appear before the Telecommunications Commission of the National Council at the end of August to explain the situation and find solutions.

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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