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

New tunnel is dug through the Gotthard mountain in Swiss Alps.
“Artery of Switzerland”: New tunnel will be built through the massive Gotthard mountain. Photo by MICHAEL BUHOLZER / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Switzerland still not planning the third vaccine dose at federal level

Even though booster shots are already administered in some countries, Switzerland has no immediate plans to do so, according to Virginie Masserey, head of the infection control section at the Federal Office of Public Health.

She attributed this hesitancy to lack of scientific evidence in support of booster shots, explaining that various research studies “have not reached consensus” on this subject.

“We would have to know after how many months the immunity decreases. We don’t see any reduction in protection at this time. So It is more important to give a dose to unvaccinated people than to offer boosters”,  Masserey added.

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

Most Swiss support Covid certificate requirement

A new survey shows that two in three residents of Switzerland back the extension of the certificate to restaurants and other public places.

Respondents were also asked to estimate the percentage of those who say they are opposed to the certificate. On average, their forecast was 56 percent, well above the 33 percent who actually said they were against it.

“The opposition to the extension of the certificate is perceived by the population to be stronger than it really is,” said Lukas Leeman of the LeeWas Institute, which conducted the the poll on behalf of Tamedia media group.

Work on the second Gotthard road tunnel has began

A symbolic blast opened the construction of the second Gotthard road tube connecting  Göschenen in canton Uri with Airolo in Ticino.

At the inauguration ceremony of this monumental project, Jürg Röthlisberger, director of the Federal Roads Office, called the future 16.9-km tunnel  the “artery of Switzerland”.

Some 7.4 million tonnes of rock will be extracted from the mountain in order to dig the tunnel, to be opened to traffic at the end of 2029.

Swiss voters approved the construction of the second tube in 2016. It will be built be built 70 meters eastward of the first, at the cost 0f 2 billion francs.

Dual nationality of MPs and federal councillors must be made public

The parliament voted to accept this proposal, made by Marco Chiesa, a deputy from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP).

Chiesa said that MPs and members of the Federal Council must divulge any second citizenship they may hold in order to guarantee greater transparency.

He argued that as dual nationality could influence parliamentarians’ decisions “this information must be made public”.

READ MORE: IN NUMBERS: Where do Switzerland’s dual nationals live?

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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