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

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Several cantons introducing tougher Covid measures

While the federal government has no immediate plans to introduce new restrictions to rein in the spread of Covid, some Swiss-German cantons are doing so on their own.

In Basel, for instance, the obligation to wear a mask will be reintroduced from Wednesday in all schools from the 5th year, except for those vaccinated or cured.

In certain areas of Graubünden, wearing a mask is compulsory from the third year of primary school and pupils are tested twice a week, And in Nidwalden, wearing a mask has been compulsory since Monday at secondary level I and for all teachers.

Other cantons are eyeing tougher measures as well, including Aargau, which is considering shutting down bars and restaurants, and introducing the limit of 100 people at public events.

While the cantons must comply with Covid rules set by the Federal Council, they can enact their own tougher measures if they feel there is a need. 

Could cross-border ‘booster tourism’ become a new trend?

As Switzerland is lagging behind its neighbours in administering third shots of Covid vaccine to people under 65, and the booster rollout for general public is not expected until next year, many Swiss residents go to nearby countries to get the shot.

Boosters are not as widely available in Switzerland because many cantons have dismantled their vaccination centres and will not be able to ramp up their capacities again before the New Year.

READ MORE: Covid boosters unlikely to arrive in most Swiss cantons until 2022

As a result, a number of people cross the border to get the third shot. “The fact that they have to go abroad to do this is due to the slowness of Swiss politics and authorities. Now it is crucial that the cantons increase their vaccination capacities to the maximum”, Dominique de Quervain, member of the Covid-19 Task Force told the media.

However, Switzerland’s residents may not be able to get their shots abroad for long. “Foreign authorities will not sit idly by as the Swiss cross the border not only for shopping, but also for boosting”, he said.

READ MORE: Can Swiss get a booster vaccination in Germany?

More international rail links to be launched in December

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will start operating international service on December 12th, the day when the new train schedule comes into effect, the company announced.

In cooperation with Austria’s ÖBB, SBB will operate a daily Nightjet service with sleeping from Zurich to Amsterdam via Basel and Cologne. This train will leave Zurich at 9:59 pm and Basel at 11:13 pm arriving in Amsterdam at 9:01 am. In the opposite direction, it departs from Amsterdam at 8:30 pm and arrives at Basel SBB at 6:20 am and in Zurich at 8:05 am.

Also, the journey time for EuroCity trains between Zurich and Munich will be reduced by half an hour to 3.30 hours on three of the six routes. From spring 2022, all EC trains will run between Zurich and Munich in 3h30.

On the Basel – Bern – Brig — Milan line, one additional EuroCity per direction will run daily (Basel CFF, departure at 10:28 am / Milan, departure at 3.20 pm)

The new purple car sticker is (almost) here!

The 2022 vignette will be valid from December 1st, 2021 to January 31st, 2022, the Federal Customs Administration announced. Motorists have until January 31st to stick it on their windshields. It will be on sale at petrol stations, garages, post offices, automobile services and customs offices.

And this being Switzerland where nothing is left to chance, the sticker comes with its own instruction manual: it must be affixed at the prescribed location. It is also “forbidden to re-glue the sticker, after having removed it, on the same vehicle or on another vehicle,” AFD said, adding that stickers from previous years should be removed.

The price of the vignette remains at 40 francs.

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

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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