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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
Could vaccination centres become terrorist targets? Photo: Fred TANNEAU / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Sign of the times: Terrorists could target vaccination centres

In an interview with NZZ am Sonntag, the Federal Intelligence Service (SRC) said that Switzerland’s “vaccine infrastructure” could fall victim to attacks by radical anti-vaxxers and corona-skeptic groups.

“Attacks on such targets would hit large crowds as well as trigger intensive media coverage”, according to SRC spokesperson Isabelle Graber.

That is why vaccine doses are stored in secret, well-protected army locations before they are delivered to cantons. And that is also why security personnel is standing guard at the entrance to the vaccination centers, NZZ reported.

Health expert: Seniors should get booster shots in autumn

As the protection from coronavirus vaccines declines over time in older people, experts estimate that senior citizens may need booster vaccinations as early as this fall.

That’s because after being vaccinated, the elderly build up a “relatively weak immune response”, according to Christian Münz, an immunologist at the University of Zurich.

“In addition, the number of antibodies and T cells decrease quicker in older people”, he added.

This claim comes as discussion among Switzerland’s health officials is ongoing about whether and when to start administering booster shots.

Some cantons have already started giving third doses to people in high-risk categories, i.e. those with weak immune systems, without announcing firm plans for general public.

READ MORE: Which Swiss cantons are already offering Covid booster shots?

Calls for immediate implementation of Covid certificate rule

While the Federal Council is consulting with the cantons on whether to make the immunity pass compulsory for some sectors, Christoph Berger, head of the Federal Commission for Vaccinations, is urging the authorities to mandate the use of the certificate without further delay.

“We need to extend the obligation now. It’s inevitable, we can’t wait any longer”, he said.

Berger noted that there is urgency to act quickly, as “the health system is now close to overload, and we have to put a little pressure” on unvaccinated people.

Have your say: Should Switzerland make Covid certificate mandatory to enter restaurants?

Employers could start checking their employees’ Covid certificates

Generally speaking, Swiss employers are not allowed to ask their workers whether they are vaccinated, or ask to see their immunity certificates, as inoculation against coronavirus is not compulsory in Switzerland.

The exception can be made for employees in specific situations where a vaccination may be required as part of their work. 

However, the Swiss Employers’ Association is in favour of allowing companies to ask to see their employees’ certificates.

The trade unions, on the other hand, are opposed to this proposal, arguing that employers “should not police their workers”.

Business groups want to abolish the motorway sticker

Economiesuisse, the umbrella association of Swiss companies,  wants to abolish the sticker that all drivers must affix to their cars in order to use Switzerland’s motorways.

The group is also calling for the discontinuation of travel cards that allow people to travel cheaper on public transportation (Generalabonnement / l’abonnement general / l’abbonamento generale), Kurt Lanz, member of the board of Economiesuisse. said in an interview.

Instead, people who travel more during rush hour, either on public transport or in their vehicles, should pay more than those who rarely travel, Lanz said.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Switzerland’s motorway charge sticker

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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