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

Owning a home in a Swiss mountain resort is out of reach for most people. Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash
Owning a home in a Swiss mountain resort is out of reach for most people. Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

 Exposing yourself intentionally to Covid is illegal

It’s hard to believe, but there are actually people in Switzerland who do this.

According to a report by public broadcaster RTS, some vaccine-skeptic people in Switzerland go to great lengths to catch coronavirus so they can receive a Covid certificate after recovery.

They apparently advertise on social media looking for contaminated people who can transmit the virus to them.

However, this practice is not only dangerous, but also illegal. Contracting coronavirus on purpose is a criminal offence, punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, RTS reported.

Life expectancy in Switzerland has fallen due to Covid

Coronavirus has left its mark on the well-being of the Swiss population in 2020. Life expectancy has dropped by almost a year for men and six months for women, according to a new study by the Federal Statistical Office.

For men, life expectancy fell by nine months between 2019 and 2020 to reach 81 years. Among women, the decrease was smaller — half a year — reaching 85.1 years.

Despite a particularly high excess mortality among those over 64, the ratio between the number of people aged 65 and over and that of those aged 20 to 64 has not declined.

READ MORE: Biggest fall since WWII: How Covid slashed life expectancy in Switzerland

Will the French nuclear blackout plunge Switzerland into darkness?

In France, 15 nuclear reactors out of a total of 56, were shut down in recent days due to maintenance work or breakdowns.

As Switzerland imports electricity in the winter from neighbouring countries and France is one of its suppliers, there is concern about power outages over the Christmas holidays.

The Federal Electricity Commission, however, said that  despite power plant shutdowns in France, “the security of Switzerland’s electricity supply is not threatened at this time”.

But according to a report by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), several factors could contribute to electricity shortage in Switzerland and “unavailability of 30 percent of the French nuclear fleet is part of it”.

Once again, when something goes wrong, the Swiss can blame France.

READ MORE: How can you save on your household energy bills in Switzerland?

Real estate prices in Swiss resorts are on the rise

Many people dream of owning a chalet or an apartment in the Swiss Alps, but it is becoming more expensive to do so.

Since 2019, real estate prices in Swiss ski resorts have increased by 13.8 percent despite the pandemic, according to RealAdvisor property platform.

“The context of the pandemic and the restrictions associated with it are related to the strong growth observed over the past 24 months,” said Joan Rodriguez, co-founder of RealAdvisor, adding that the demand for mountain residences “contributes to a scarcity of supply. ”

The top three most expensive resorts in terms od properties are Verbier (VS), Saint-Moritz (GR) and Zermatt (VS), where the price per square meter exceeds 15,000 francs. Crans-Montana (VS) and Villars-sur-Ollon (VD) also experienced a notable increase.

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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