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

As they did during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the civil protection could be called in to maintain Switzerland’s infrastructure. Photo by Zivilschutz
As they did during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the civil protection could be called in to maintain Switzerland’s infrastructure. Photo by Zivilschutz
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Swiss pharmacies overwhelmed by Covid test seekers

The demand for coronavirus tests in pharmacies is growing to volumes double of those experienced before the holidays, according to Martine Ruggli, president of Pharmasuisse, the umbrella organisation of Switzerland’s pharmacies.

Demand is expected to increase further this week, as people who have not yet received a booster shot but who are planning to party in clubs and discos on New Year’s Eve, will have to show a negative test result under the new 2G-Plus rules.

Long queues are therefore expected at pharmacies that don’t require appointments, so those waiting to be screened in the next few days need to be patient, Ruggli said.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What is Switzerland’s 2G-Plus rule?

Covid impacts not only public health

The Federal Office for Civil Protection (BABS) warns of pandemic-related failures in the country’s critical infrastructure.  

The risk of staff shortages in the energy and food supply, in addition to the health sector, is particularly high. In view of the possibility of high infection rates due to  Omicron, “it is to be expected that additional staff could be absent due to illness or quarantine, and operations could not be maintained to the usual extent”, according to BABS spokesperson Sandra Walker.

Various service providers for critical infrastructures such as major food retailers, Swisscom, and the Swiss Post among them, have already drawn up contingency plans which include, in the latter’s case, calling on civil protection personnel for help.

Our daily bread could get more expensive in 2022

As the cost of many raw materials, including grain, has increased this year, the Swiss Association of Bakers and Confectioners (SBC) recommends that its members raise the prices for their “entire product range” in 2022.

Various bakeries are already reportedly telling their customers that baked goods will become more expensive by, depending on product, between 5 and 15 percent. 

This trend could affect not only small, independently owned bakeries, but also larger chains. “Neither Coop nor Migros can rule out price increases” at this time, according to reports.

Travel abroad to become more difficult

This time it is not due to new restrictions but to the fact that the national carrier, SWISS, has cut 2,900 flights from its winter schedule.

This move is caused by reduced demand for flights to foreign destinations due to the rapid spread of Omicron throughout the world.

Cancellations mainly concern the period from mid-January to the end of March.

People who have booked a flight during that time frame will be informed by the airline and offered alternatives.

Switzerland’s population in a nutshell

A new report released by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows, via a pictogramme, vital Swiss statistics as they are at the end of 2021.

They include data such as the latest population tally broken up by nationalities, as well as figures relating to the size of households.

“Switzerland is one of the most dynamic countries in terms of population growth in Europe. Key population figures also include a high life expectancy at birth and a high percentage of foreigners”, FSO said.

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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