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

Switzerland: Could people without a Covid certificate be permitted to eat in restaurants?
Restaurants want unvaccinated customers to be allowed to eat in separate rooms. Photo by STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Cantons to start administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines this week

The 150,000 doses of the vaccine manufactured by the US pharmaceutical company Janssen have arrived in Switzerland and are being distributed to cantons, which are setting up logistics to begin inoculating as soon as possible.

Vaud and Fribourg are starting to give shots already today, followed by Geneva and the two Appenzells  on Thursday.

Other cantons are expected to catch up next week.

As a reminder, the single-dose  Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be given first to people over the age of 18 who have severe allergies and can’t be inoculated with Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the only ones that have been used in Switzerland to date.

READ MORE: Switzerland prepares to roll out Johnson and Johnson vaccine

Train shortage in parts of the Lake Geneva region

Due to the continued scarcity of conductors, there will be fewer trains running between Annemasse, Geneva, Vevey and Valais.

This partly reduced schedule is starting today and will be in effect until October 25th, according to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).

The trains will run as normal on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, while on the other days they won’t be in operation.

Passengers are advised to check the schedule for those lines on the SBB website or app.

Heavy rains hit Ticino

In the northwest part of the canton, the Mesolcina and Bregaglia valleys have suffered the heaviest rainfall, sparking fears of flooding in these regions.

The rail link between Locarno and Domodossola is interrupted for an indefinite period due to the danger of flooding, but replacement buses have been put into service.

READ MORE: Switzerland weather: Snow and rain forecast in various regions

Restaurants want to open areas  for the unvaccinated

Swiss media reports that some companies in Switzerland have created separate zones in their on-site cafeterias for the vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

Now restaurant owners are calling on the authorities to let them do the same.

Gastrosuisse, the umbrella association for the restaurant and hotel industry,  is also in favour of this move

“We could set up areas but also times during which we could serve unvaccinated clients,” said the group’s  spokesperson Daniela Kimmisch.

However, MPs are skeptical that such a set-up would work, including Alois Gmür, who said many establishments don’t have enough room to create different zones.

Restaurateurs would also have to spend a lot of money to set up special sectors for those who have a Covid certificate and others who don’t.

However, he said he understands why many in the sector support this model. “It is unfair that the certificate is compulsory in restaurants, but not in company canteens,” he said.

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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