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

Switzerland will be open to Aussies from January 1, 2022.
Australians (people, not kangaroos) will be able to come to Switzerland without a visa. Photo by Sabel Blanco on Pexels
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

New Covid restrictions: Will Switzerland imitate its neighbour?

Austria is imposing restrictions on unvaccinated residents and the question is: will Switzerland do the same?

Several similarities bertween the two countries are obvious. Vaccination rate in Austria is 64.4 percent, only slightly lower than Switzerland’s, 64.8 percent. Also, the Swiss contamination curve follows exactly the same trend as that of Austria, but with a lag.

The number of new infections in Switzerland on Friday November 12th was that of Austria three weeks ago.

In addition, Urs Karrer, vice-president of the Covid-19 Task Force recalled that “in recent months, the measures here have been not as strict as in Austria”.

So will Switzerland follow its neighbour’s lead?

 Not necessarily, Karrer said, because other factors come into play as well.

“Individual behaviour continues to have a major influence on epidemiological development,” he says.

“We have learned enough in this pandemic to say that in a phase of exponential growth, it is more effective to act with foresight than to react with your back to the wall”, Karrer added.

However, the Task Force’s head Tanja Stalder said the Federal Council will likely have to “seriously consider a new package of measures in the coming weeks”.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland’s Covid cases are skyrocketing despite vaccinations

Vaccination Week: Latest tally

Launched with a great deal of publicity, the “vaccination week” organised from November 8th to 14th has made it possible to increase the number of inoculations by 38 percent compared to the previous week.

In Switzerland as a whole, 104,689 doses were administered, compared to 76,108 the week before.

The situation is contrasted between the regions, however.

READ MORE: Sluggish Swiss jab rates up despite anti-vaxxer sabotage

 In Appenzell Innerrhoden, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the country at 54 percent, 76 people received a dose. This may seem like a tiny number, but it is still three times higher than the previous week.

In more populated areas, however, the number of administered vaccines has more than doubled last week.

Australian nationals to be exempted from Swiss visa requirement

Australians will be allowed to enter Switzerland without a visa from January 1st, 2022, and from the the same date, Swiss citizens will get access to the Australian Work and Holiday programme, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) announced

Currently, Australians need a visa to enter Switzerland for short stays that involve working or for stays of more than 90 days. As of  January 1, 2022, however, a visa will no longer be required, regardless of the purpose and duration of the stay, SEM said.

EXPLAINED: Who can enter Switzerland right now and what are the rules?

The conditions of entry laid down in Swiss legislation and in the Schengen regulations will continue to apply, including the requirement to have the financial means necessary for the stay.

Australian nationals also remain subject to the provisions governing the residence of foreign nationals in Switzerland. They require a permit if they plan to stay in Switzerland for more than three months or if they intend to work in Switzerland. They must apply for the permit from the competent authority in their intended place of residence or work before entering Switzerland. 

Employees in Switzerland want to continue teleworking

A vast majority of employees — 80 percent — appreciate the flexibility offered by the home office and say they are more efficient at home, according to a new survey by Generali insurance and pension company.

“The Covid pandemic has changed attitudes in the world of work. Bosses and employees realised that their jobs could often be carried out elsewhere than on the premises of the company, Generali said in a press release.

More than 80 percent of those polled say  they can work at home without being disturbed.

“In addition, teleworking has a positive effect on the work-life balance. This in turn has a positive influence on mental health”, said Jean-Pierre Schmid, Chief Customer Services & Human Resources Officer of Generali Switzerland.

The survey also found that 68 percent of those questioned said say they work more productively from home, and 66 percent work more efficiently

Residential property prices increase in 3rd quarter

The Swiss residential property price index (IMPI) rose by 2.4 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2021 compared with the previous quarter. This the finding of a new study by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

In comparison with the previous quarter, both the prices of single-family houses (+2.4 percent) and those of condominiums increased (+2.3 percent) between June and September 2021.

The market segment of single-family houses showed higher prices than in the 2nd quarter of 2021 in all municipality types. The greatest price increase was seen in the category of urban municipalities or outside agglomeration (+3.4 percent). Apartment prices went up particularly in large agglomerations (+4.4%). A decline in cost of apartments was only recorded in smaller towns. (-0.5%).

READ MORE: Swiss property prices see strongest rise in years

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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