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

Hairdressers are among professionals not benefiting from pay raise in 2022. Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
Hairdressers are among professionals not benefiting from pay raise in 2022. Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Omicron cases expected to increase sharply

Up from only 2.5 percent of all coronavirus cases reported in Switzerland last week to 7 percent on December 20th, infections from the Omicron variant are expected to rise to 20 percent by January.

Some Swiss health experts, like epidemiologist Didier Trono, even believe the variant could become dominant in Switzerland soon, replacing Delta as the main strain.

This may actually be a blessing in disguise, Trono said in an interview with 20 Minutes.

As it is believed that Omicron spreads much faster than Delta, but is not as dangerous for most people, “it would quickly achieve collective immunity without causing too much damage”.

New stamps are available at the post  office counter

In August, Switzerland’s Post announced the increase in the price of stamps, the first rise in 18 years. The cost of sending parcels will remain the same, however.

From January 1st, 2022, the price will go up 10 cents for A mail (from 1 franc to 1.10) and 5 cents for B mail – 85 cents to 90.

New stamps, depicting nature scenes such as the Aare river, are now for sale in post office branches across the country.

New 1.10-franc stamp. Image by Swiss post.

Swiss Post says the increases are necessary due to the decline in the amount of mail being sent in Switzerland, which is roughly half of the volume handled last time prices went up 18 years ago.

READ MORE: Swiss Post to increase mail prices for first time in 18 years

Geneva has the most serious alcohol-related road accidents

This is one statistic the canton is probably not very proud of: Geneva has the highest number of serious alcohol-related road accidents per capita, according to a new survey by motoring organisation Touring Club Suisse (TCS).

In 2020, Geneva recorded 1.01 serious accidents per 10,000 inhabitants. As defined by TCS, ‘serious accidents’ involve at least one seriously injured person.

Geneva is followed by Thurgau (0.86 accidents per 10,000), Zug (0.71), Nidwalden (0.70), and Valais (0.69).

Neuchâtel has the lowest average of 0.17 accidents / 100,000.

READ MORE: Driving in Switzerland: Which canton has the highest speeding fines?

Some salaries in Switzerland to increase in 2022

Thanks to negotiations between unions and employers, many workers will see their wages increase in 2022. However, there are marked differences between the various sectors.

In several branches of the craft industry, such as bodywork, electricity or timber construction, wages will rise more sharply than price increases.

The development is also positive in the retail sector. All the major Swiss distributors have set their minimum wages at more than 4.000 francs gross a month.

On the other hand, wages remain not sufficient in the field of watchmaking, as well as cleaning, catering, and hairdressing sectors.

READ MORE: Switzerland proposes minimum wage for foreign workers
 

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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