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

Railway works will impact traffic in the west of Switzerland.
Switzerland’s usually reliable train network will be disrupted on some lines this weekend. Photo by SBB.
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Rail traffic to be disrupted in western Switzerland

Due to major works underway to maintain and develop railway infrastructure, disruptions are to be expected on several lines, according to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).

From Friday at 10 pm and until Monday morning, no more trains will run between Neuchâtel and Biel. Direct express buses will be in service between the two cities, and regional buses will serve the intermediate stations.

Works will also disrupt train service between La Chaux-de-Fonds and Bern, and between Neuchâtel and Fribourg.

Additionally, parts of the Lake Geneva region will be impacted. The line between Lausanne and Vevey will end at the Cully station, and most InterRegio trains between Geneva-Airport and Brig will be affected as well.

On the following two weekends, November 13th and 14th as well as November 20th and 21st, rail traffic will be disrupted around Lausanne, with many trains normally passing through Lausanne being canceled or running on a modified schedule, SBB said.

You can see all the updates on the SBB app.

Some of Switzerland-based foreigners are reluctant to get Covid shots

The rate of unvaccinated people among immigrants from southeastern Europe is almost twice as high as for Swiss citizens.

A new survey carried out by Sotomo research institute on behalf of Swiss Broadcasting  Corporation shows the reluctance to roll up the sleeves is particularly widespread among people from the Balkans.

The Portuguese too are much less willing to get the jab than their Swiss counterparts, the survey found.

However, Arber Bullakaj, a Swiss MP born in Kosovo, said  “the desire to be vaccinated has nothing to do with nationality”.

He points out that the age structure of migrants is different from that of the population as a whole. They are younger, and fewer people in this age group get inoculated, regardless of nationality.

Also, the Sotomo survey found that people with less education and lower income are generally more reluctant to get vaccinated, and many immigrants fall into this category.

Swiss pediatrician: No Covid vaccines for young kids

The United States has began to administer coronavirus vaccines to children ages five to 11, after the American Academy of Pediatrics approved this move.

Switzerland, however, is in no hurry to follow America’s lead, according to Philipp Jenny, president of Swiss Pediatrics association.

In an interview with SRF public broadcaster, Jenny said that the situation in Switzerland with regard to young children getting infected with Covid is less dramatic than in the USA.

In America, “a large number of children had to go to hospital this autumn due to coronavirus, but in Switzerland we only had a few serious cases”.

However, “if a new variant emerges during the winter that is much more dangerous for younger kids, or if there is an increase in hospital admissions for children, things will look different”.

Vaccines for this age group are set to be approved in Switzerland in the near future..

READ MORE: Switzerland set to approve Covid vaccines for children

Homeowner refuses to sell house to vaccinated clients

In a bizarre twist, potential property buyers lost their chance to purchase a house when they revealed to the owner that they were vaccinated against Covid.

As reported by Watson news outlet, a couple from the Neuchâtel region was negotiating with the homeowner to purchase her house and the process was nearly completed when they mentioned, during an aside conversation about the pandemic, that they had their Covid shots.

At that point the owner who, according to the couple, was an anti-vaxxer, refused to sell her house to them.

Even though Swiss law forbids discrimination based on one’s vaccine status, this applies to public entities and employers only.

However, when it comes to transactions between private individuals, “the seller can refuse to sell to you just because he doesn’t like your face”, said a legal expert quoted by Watson.

“This is contractual freedom”.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland’s Covid certificate is ‘not discriminatory’

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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