Everything that changes in Switzerland in November 2021

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 1 Nov, 2021 Updated Mon 1 Nov 2021 11:42 CEST
Everything that changes in Switzerland in November 2021
Good morning. Be sure to take into account the time change before you wake up on November 1st. Photo by DS stories from Pexels

From expanded travel possibilities to booster vaccines, here's what ch-ch-ch-ch-changes in Switzerland in November.


USA, here we come

From November 8th, residents of Switzerland will be able to travel to the United States, as the country will finally reopen its borders to foreign tourists after more than 18 months of closure.

However, only vaccinated foreign travellers will be admitted to America.

READ MORE: US to lift travel ban for vaccinated Europeans on November 8th


Booster vaccines to begin

People in the high-risk groups as well as those aged over 65 and over, will be eligible for a Covid booster shot from the middle of November.

The exact date of the rollout, along with the registration procedures and other details will be determined by each canton.

Those who receive the third shot will have the validity of their Covid certificates extended by another 365 days.

READ MORE: Switzerland approves Covid booster shot for over 65s

Decision on Covid certificate to be announced

In mid-November (no exact date is given), the Federal Council will decide whether to lift the current Covid certificate rules.

The certificate, allowing holders to access bars, restaurants, and other indoor places, is in place until January 24th, 2022, but authorities said it could be lifted if the epidemiological situation improves.

Canton-by-canton: How visitors can get Switzerland’s Covid certificate

It's referendum time — again

On November 28th, Swiss voters will decide on three topics.

One of them seeks to repeal an amendment of the controversial Covid-19 law dealing with the certificate, which, opponents claim, discriminates against unvaccinated people.

Another issue at the ballot box is how to remedy the shortage of healthcare workers in Switzerland, particularly nurses. As the committee behind the initiative and the federal government disagree on how to resolve this problem, it will be up to the voters to weigh in.

The third issue is the so-called “judge initiative”, which aims to introduce a new process to  select federal judges.

More information on the referenda to take place at the end of November is available here

Deadline for changing health insurance carriers

By now, you will likely have received a letter from your insurance company, notifying you of the premium for your health insurance for 2022 — by law, carriers must announce the new rates to their clients no later than October 31st.

Once a year every insured person has the right to change the provider of his or her basic compulsory health insurance. For most people, changing is only possible if you cancel your existing policy by November 30th.

 READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to change your health insurance carrier in Switzerland and save money

Get ready for your new vignette

OK so you don't need to have this quite yet, but the new 2022 vignette will be valid from December 1st. 

Vignettes are needed for driving on Swiss federal roads. Whether you're driving for a day, a week, a month or the entire year, you'll need a vignette. 

They are already available for purchase. In addition to gas stations across the country and near the border in neighbouring countries, the vignette can be purchased online here

More information about vignettes can be found at the following link. 

Swiss vignette: What you need to know about Switzerland’s motorway charge sticker



Alright, so this technically takes place on the morning of Sunday the 31st of October, but if you've decided to switch off the alarm for a weekend sleep in, then make sure you've got the correct time for Monday morning, November 1st. 

On Sunday, October 31st, clocks in Switzerland will be turned back one hour at 3am.

This means sunrise and sunset will be about one hour earlier.

The good news is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. The bad news is that it’s going to get darker earlier in the evening. 

The long-term future of daylight savings in Switzerland remains in flux, but you can be sure that the clocks will at least be wound back one final time this October

Adieu 162: Switzerland to retire telephone weather service

Dialing 162 on the phone to hear the latest weather forecast — the service that has been in use for 30 years —  will no longer be possible from November 1st.

Due to lack of interest, Switzerland’s official weather service, MeteoSchweiz, has decided to discontinue its telephone service.

In an update on the MeteoSchweiz website, the agency confirmed the number would be given a “well-deserved retirement”. 

But in 2020, barely 350,000 calls were received on the automated service — down from about 7 million in the early 2000s.

Adieu 162: Switzerland to retire telephone weather service from Monday



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