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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
Minors will not be able to buy cigarettes in Switzerland. Photo by Clément Bélus on Unspash
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Swiss restaurants have suffered less losses than expected

GastroSuisse, the umbrella association of the restaurant and hotel industry, warned that the introduction of Covid certificate obligation on September 13th will cause a substantial loss of business to the country’s restaurants.

The association predicted a loss in turnover of 30 percent.

However, according to economists at the University of S. Gallen, who analysed the sector, the turnover fell on average by 17 percent during the first week of certificate use..

SWISS  airline expands its network

Switzerland’s flagship airline offers an extended range of destinations in its winter 2021 / 2022 schedule.

The carrier “will further increase its winter services at times of particularly high demand, such as the Christmas holiday period and the winter sports season”, the airline announced.

“All in all, SWISS will be offering around half of the capacity it provided in 2019 in the coming winter schedules”.

SWISS also plans to resume its pre-pandemic nonstop service from Geneva to New York on selected days of the week from mid-December onwards.

READ MORE: US to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated passengers from Europe

Minors will no longer be able to buy cigarettes in Switzerland

After years of negotiations, the parliament finalised the new law on tobacco products.

The sale of tobacco will be prohibited to minors. In addition, tobacco advertising will be banned from newspapers, websites for minors, cinemas and public spaces.

If it does not generate opposition, the legislation will enter into force in mid-2023.

READ MORE: Is Swiss supermarket Migros about to start selling alcohol and cigarettes?

Switzerland’s Covid “coronagraben”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) analysed the “röstigraben” — a term used to describe the cultural divide between the German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland — in order to discover why the former is more opposed to the government’s Covid measures than the latter.

While there are demonstrations against the federal rules every few days in German-speaking Switzerland, comparable rallies are rare in French-speaking area, the newspaper said.

It found that in the French-speaking region, the willingness to vaccinate is significantly higher — at least half of the population is fully vaccinated there. In Central and Eastern Switzerland, on the other hand, there are nine cantons in which less than 50 percent of residents have received two doses of vaccine.

“It also fits into the picture that the röstigraben manifested itself in the first vote on the Covid 19 law in June. All French-speaking cantons clearly said yes while at least eight German-speaking Swiss cantons rejected the proposal”, NZZ reported.

“It is no coincidence that the SVP, which is critical of the measures, is the strongest or most powerful political force in those cantons”, it added.

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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