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Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Monday

Low vaccination rate in eastern Switzerland could lead to renewed restrictions.
Restrictions may return in the winter to Swiss cantons with low vaccination rates. Photo: Christof STACHE / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Regional health restrictions possible for winter

To remedy the low vaccination coverage in some cantons where Covid-19 infections are on the rise, some parts of Switzerland could introduce more restrictive measures.

“To monitor the development of the virus, it will be necessary to take much more into account the vaccination rate in different regions than the overall Swiss rate”, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

And Lukas Engelberger, president of the Conference of Health Directors noted that “the risk of a heavy load or an overload of the health system is again very real in several regions”.

At the moment, the cantons that could be targeted by the new directive are all in eastern part of the country, where the percentage of fully inoculated adults is well below the national average of 63.4 percent.

They include the two Appenzells, Glarus, Graubünden, Nidwalden, Obwalden, and Schwyz.

The lightest-colour cantons are where fewest residents are vaccinated. Image by FOPH

Switzerland clamps down on Mickey Mouse certificates

Falsified Covid certificates issued abroad have been accepted in Switzerland up to now.

That’s because they were technically valid, even though some bore the names of Mickey Mouse, Adolf Hitler, or SpongeBob, Swiss media reports.

Now Swiss authorities have blocked these forged certificates and they will no longer allow holders to access restaurants,  bars, or other indoor venues in Switzerland.

“They will be reported as invalid in the Covid Certificate Check app”, the Federal Office for Computing, Telecommunications and Information Technologies (BIT) announced.

Police literally block access to coronasceptic’s restaurant

After the owner of the Walliserkanne restaurant in Zermatt (Valais) failed to comply several times with the obligation to check the customers’ Covid certificates, local police took a drastic measure of installing cement blocks in front of the entrance.

Access denied: Concrete blocks in front of the Walliserkanne restaurant. Photo: Twitter

According to the media, while the operation was taking place, the owner, a die-hard coronasceptic who repeatedly defied the certificate rule and the order to shut down his restaurant, threatened law enforcement that he would get his gun. He was arrested by the police.

The brouhaha is taking place as Zermatt, a popular resort at the foot of the Matterhorn, is preparing to begin its ski season on December 4th.

READ MORE: Winter sports: Which Swiss ski resorts are already open?

Rising rents: tenants in Zurich and Basel strike back

Faced with the constant increase in rents, tenants in Zurich and Basel-City, where rental housing is among the most expensive in Switzerland, are preparing initiatives to limit cost hikes.

Basel-City’s initiative, “Yes to real protection of housing”, will be put to the vote on November 28th. It aims to limit rent increases after renovation for practically all apartments.

If the initiative is approved, Basel-City could be “the gateway to rent ceilings in German-speaking Switzerland”, according to a report in Neue Zurcher Zeitung.

As for Zurich, Social Democrats will launch a cantonal rent control initiative for renovations and conversions next year.

READ MORE: In which Swiss canton can you find a rental bargain?

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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