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TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Will Covid certificate be compulsory on Swiss slopes? The issue is still under discussion.
Resort operators and skiers, here on the slopes of Verbier, canton Valais, are waiting for the government’s instructions about protective measures in resorts. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Booster vaccination may be possible at the end of October

Amid debates about the third vaccine does — and criticism over the government’s slowness — Switzerland’s  regulatory agency said the long-awaited booster rollout may be imminent.

Claus Bolte, Head of Authorisation at Swissmedic,  said in an interview with SRF public broadcaster that approval may come within two or three weeks.

“It now essentially depends on the companies” — Pfizer and Moderna — “and how they cooperate. If they answer our questions, we will extend the approval”.

However, Bolte didn’t specify the exact timing of boosters and which groups will be eligible to receive them.

READ MORE: Covid-19: Why is Switzerland still stalling on booster shots?

Migros to sell vegan eggs

Switzerland’s largest retail chain announced it will start selling “the first hard-boiled egg of vegetable origin”, on November 2nd.

The company is not divulging what the egg is made of, except saying it will be “exclusively vegetable-based”, and Swiss-made.

“A team led by a nutritionist from Migros has been working on this creation for years”, the retailed added, noting that additional information about the new product will be revealed at its launch.

Initially, the egg will be sold at Migros branches in  Zurich, Basel, Lucerne and Geneva.

“Are you mine or are you vegan?” Photo by Alison Burrell from Pexels
 

The rate of vaccination is up in Switzerland

Latest data from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) shows that over 62 percent of Switzerland’s residents are now fully vaccinated.

This number is considerably higher than it was before the Covid certificate requirement went into effect on September 11th, when it hovered around the mid-50s.

And though it still lags behind the European Union average, it is inching closer to it.

Chart by Our World in Data

Swiss ski industry impatient to know about measures on the slopes

With the start of the ski season just around the corner, resort operators want to know what protective measures will be implemented, but the Federal Council has not announced its decision yet.

“We need planning security,” Mario Bislin, CEO of Flumserberg Ski Lifts told Neue Zurcher Zeitung. “After all, we want to tell our guests as specifically as possible how they should behave on and off the slopes”.

Many in the ski industry are opposed to the Covid certificate requirement currently being debated by the authorities.

“A certificate requirement is nonsense because it does not help”, Bislin said, adding that “contrary to all fears, no ski resort in Switzerland has become a hotspot,” during the 2020 ski season.

READ MORE: Covid-19: What will the ski season look like in Switzerland this year?

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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For members

TODAY IN SWITZERLAND

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

From very stormy weather to Covid boosters: find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

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

Tens of thousands of lightning strikes hit Switzerland

The country was hit by more 20,000 strikes in past hours, according to MeteoNews weather service.

Swiss-German cantons were the most affected.

Storms, violent in some regions, contributed to a significant drop in temperatures.

However, weather should stabilise by mid-week, with very hot summer ahead.

READ MORE: Weather: Switzerland prepares for ‘record-breaking’ hot summer 

New decisions concerning Covid boosters

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Federal Commission for Vaccinations (CFV) have issued new guidelines regarding second booster doses.

These shots are recommended for people “with a very weakened immune system”, FOPH said on Monday.

“There is no need for the general public to receive an additional booster vaccination in the current situation. According to available data, people who are fully vaccinated or vaccinated and cured are still well protected against severe forms of COVID-19”.

For those who need boosters for trips abroad, the government is “evaluating the possibilities” to administer the shots. This is all the more important as some countries still require proof of vaccination to enter and millions of Swiss certificates will expire by autumn at the latest.

Expanded guidelines for fourth doses for the fall will be issued within the next few weeks, FOPH said, adding that Switzerland has a sufficient number of vaccine doses.

READ MORE: What will Switzerland do about the ‘millions’ of expiring Covid certificates?

Switzerland is “on the move” – sort of

Did you know that Switzerland is moving slowly but steadily, along with neighbouring countries, about 2.5 centimetres every year towards Europe’s northeast part, according to the Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo)?

Swisstopo’s specialists are measuring the country to the nearest millimetre to determine these movements.

The measurements are based on a network of 220 landmarks whose exact coordinates are known. They are then compared with the results of the measurements carried out every six years to see the shifts.

The exact position of fixed points is important for several reasons, including for the construction of infrastructure such as bridges, roads or pipelines.

Switzerland may not find itself near the Baltic sea in our lifetimes, but it’s good to know the country is not stagnant.

Weasels cause 40 million francs of damage each year

Many motorists in Switzerland know the experience of trying to start their cars in the morning and not being able to do so. That could be because weasels sneaked into the engine at night and chewed the cables. This happens most often, but not only, in the month of May.

“Each year, 17,000 weasel claims are declared to AXA Switzerland, which represents an amount of 8 million francs in total”, the insurer said in a press release.  

Extrapolated to the whole country, the amounts likely reach 40 million per year, according to AXA.

The number of vehicles chewed up  by weasels — also known as martens —  has increased in recent years, especially in the cantons of Jura, Glarus, Thurgau and Schaffhausen, where the risk of suffering a weasel-related loss is, for inexplicable reasons, “up to 80 percent higher than the Swiss average”.

READ MORE:  Why your Swiss car insurance should contain a ‘weasel clause’

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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