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

Income in Switzerland has gone up in the past
Income in Switzerland has gone up in the past two decades. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Two Omicron cases detected in Vaud

Besides one case in Basel, two in Geneva, and one in Bern that have been discovered so far this week, two new infections with the variant were also found at the International School in Founex, Vaud, among students who recently returned from South Africa.

As a result, 2,000 people, including students and staff, have been quarantined.

The five cases are the only ones detected in Switzerland as of Thursday night, but authorities said more will likely be found in coming days. 

READ MORE: Omicron in Switzerland: Vaccinated people also have to quarantine

Covid-related deaths are rising in Switzerland

Up until recently, the number of patients who died from coronavirus remained relatively low, even despite the soaring number of new infections.
The number of deaths has, however, almost doubled in the last week of November: 57 people have died on November 22 , and 101 on November 28, according to data from the Federal Office of Public Health.

READ MORE: ‘Critical situation’: Switzerland’s new coronavirus hotspots

Swiss income has gone up in past 25 years

Total household income in Switzerland rose 72.5 percent between 1995 and 2020, according to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Adjusted for demographic trends and inflation, per capita income, however, grew “only” by 26.7 percent during this period, the FSO qualifies.

Another OFS study recently showed that Swiss households have an average monthly disposable income of 6,600 francs.
This data does not specify how this income is distributed among households.

Increasing the number of international trains is “essential”, MPs say

Good news for those who like to travel  from Switzerland abroad by train: Swiss MPs support a motion by a Green Party deputy to increase the number of international rail connections. “While the national passenger rail traffic and the rail infrastructure are provided until 2035, the government has not set any medium and long-term objectives for international traffic”, MP Aline Trede pointed out.

The motion asks for better connections with surrounding European cities, as well as night trains and rail connections within border towns.

Transport Minister Simonetta Sommaruga is in favour of the motion. “It makes sense to further develop passenger transport for international connections,” she said. “We will soon have the opportunity to implement this motion under the CO₂ law,” which aims to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement by halving Switzerland’s CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.

Apartments in Switzerland have become more expensive – but not where you might think

Apartment hunters had to dig deeper into their pockets in November: the prices of advertised flats for rent have continued to climb, according to the new rental index published by the Swiss Real Estate Offer Index..

There are, however, regional differences, with the highest rents in November  found in cantons of  Zug and Graubünden. In contrast, they fell the most in Neuchâtel (0.81 percent).

Surprisingly, given the notoriously high cost of living in these two cities, rents have not increased in Zurich or Geneva; in fact, they fell by around 0.8 percent each.

However, they increased by 0.3 percent in Lausanne and Lucerne.

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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