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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
A dog guarding a flock of sheep. Photo by Rajesh S Balouria from Pexels
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Switzerland enforces new travel rules

Starting today, tighter measures will be implemented for travellers arriving in Switzerland from abroad, regardless of their origin and the means of transport used.

Arrivals who have no Covid certificate to prove vaccination or those who cannot show proof of having had the virus and recovered in the past six months will have to show proof of a negative test upon arrival in Switzerland. Four to seven days later, they will have to undergo another test.

Another change to be enforced is that foreign visitors vaccinated abroad with a jab other than Moderna and Pfizer, but approved by the European Medicines Agency, will be able to obtain a Swiss Covid certificate enabling them to enter restaurants and other indoor venues. This includes AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

READ MORE: Switzerland announces tougher Covid border rules for travellers

Covid tests will not be free from October 1st

Many people in Switzerland were hoping that the Federal Council would backtrack on its decision to make unvaccinated people pay for screening  from October 1st.

However, in its announcement about new travel rules to go into to effect today, the government did not reverse the decision on the tests.

No further details were provided, but Health Minister Alain Berset said that adjustments to the original plan are possible, especially for those who have in the meantime received the first dose of the Covid vaccine.

Swiss hospitals report higher absenteeism rate among frontline workers

In the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), Switzerland’s largest, the absenteeism rate among personnel stands at 15 percent — double of what it was before the pandemic.

Dozens of surgeries had to  be postponed and some operating theatres have been temporarily closed.

The country’s second largest university medical centre, CHUV in Lausanne, recorded a similar increase.
Both hospitals attribute this phenomenon to “pandemic fatigue”, which caused physical and emotional burnout among many health care workers.

“Angry” France cancels Swiss president’s visit

Swiss media reports that French president Emmanuel Macron called off the visit by his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin scheduled for November.

Macron is reportedly “angry” that Switzerland purchased F-35 fighter jets from the United States rather than France’s Rafale planes, which were also contenders.

According to diplomatic sources, Paris accuses Switzerland’s Department of Defense of having continued to negotiate to buy the Rafales even after the decision to buy American jets was already taken.

Switzerland has not responded so far.

READ MORE: Swiss decision to purchase US fighter jets could force second referendum

Switzerland is suffering from the shortage of…guard dogs

More specifically, shepherd dogs to protect livestock from wolves roaming through rural areas and attacking farm animals.

“The demand for livestock guardians is high and the supply relatively scarce”, according to  Daniel Mettler from the Agridea, an agency which coordinates the herd protection measures on behalf of the federal government.

One of the reasons for the shortage is that training of a guard dog takes about two years.

Also, not surprisingly, Switzerland has high standards for livestock guardians and not all dog breeds qualify for this coveted position. If the criteria are not met, the government will not provide any financial support for the training.
 
 
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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