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

Critics say short-haul flights are bad for the environment but Swiss government wants to maintain them.
If the Federal Council has its way, flights between Geneva and Zurich airport will continue to operate. Photo by Flughafen Zürich AG
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Swiss health experts: everyone will likely receive a booster shot

Switzerland is set to begin administering the third dose of Covid vaccine to people over 65 and those at risk, regardless of age. But will the rest of the population also be entitled to the jab?

Health experts say it is likely to happen.

“”It has been observed that those who have received a third dose are 19 times less likely to get an infection than those who have only had two doses”, said Philippe Eggimann, an infectious disease specialist and president of the medical society of French-speaking Switzerland.

Another Swiss health expert, virologist Didier Trono, also believes boosters will become available to general public.

“We’ll have to see how immunity wanes, but the third dose may well be recommended for everyone.”

He added, however, that it would make more sense to first immunise those who are not vaccinated at all, before offering a third dose “to those who already have two”.

READ MORE: Covid booster vaccinations in Switzerland: What you need to know

Switzerland no longer among the top 10 least corrupt countries

In 2020, Switzerland was in the eighth place in the annual Global Corruption Index, which ranks 196 countries and territories in terms of white collar crime, primarily money laundering and fraud.

This year, however, Switzerland slipped into the 12th place, as the country still “lacks transparency with regard to customer due diligence procedures and the prohibition on financial institutions from keeping anonymous accounts”, the report said.

But despite being downgraded by two points, Switzerland rates better than neighbours Germany (14th place), Austria (19th), France (20th), and Italy (36th).

And its overall risk is still evaluated as “very low”.

You can see the full ranking here.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Is Switzerland actually a tax haven?

Switzerland’s unemployment rate continues to decline

At the end of October, 21.7 percent fewer people were registered as unemployed in Switzerland than in the same period in 2020, according to Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

And between September and October of this year, the overall unemployment rate dropped from 2.6 to 2.5 percent.

Region-wise, Geneva  has the highest unemployment rate in Switzerland (4.6 percent), closely followed by Jura (4.4 percent), along with Neuchâtel and Vaud (3.6).

The lowest unemployment , according to SECO, is in rural cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden (0.5 percent), Uri and Schwyz (0.8 percent).

Should flights between Zurich and Geneva be discontinued?

The short-haul flights between Switzerland’s two international airports have been popular before the pandemic, and still continue to operate, though with reduced number of flights. They are used mainly by transit passengers connecting to international airports from Zurich and Geneva.

However, delegates at the annual youth session of the parliament now underway in Bern are calling for the discontinuation of the air service, arguing that the 270-km, 30-minute flight leaves a huge carbon footprint ,and passengers should travel between the two airports by train.

This argument was already brought up in 2019 by Green and socialist MPs, but the Federal Council responded, then and now, that if these internal flights were to be banned, passengers would not be travelling 3.5 hours by train but connect at other European hubs like Frankfurt or London, which would be detrimental to the environment as well.

The debate is still ongoing.

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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