Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Travel rules are still in place for tourists from third nations. Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Travel rules remain in place for non-Europeans

Even though the Federal Council lifted previous rules for entering Switzerland, this easing applies only to visitors from EU /EFTA countries.

However, travel regulations remain in place for third-country nationals, according to State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Non-Europeans must present proof of full immunisation administered within the past 270 days with a vaccine recognised in Switzerland: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm and Covaxin.

Those who have not received one of the approved vaccines can’t enter Switzerland at the moment.

This link explains what rules are in place for various categories of travellers.

READ MORE: UPDATE: What are the current rules for entering Switzerland?

Poverty in Switzerland is “at a high level”, study finds

“In European comparison, the overall standard of living and satisfaction with life in Switzerland remain high”, according to a new survey by the Federal Statistics  Office (FSO).

Nevertheless, 8.5 percent of the population, or some 720,000 people, were affected by income poverty in 2020

Based on government standards, the poverty line in Switzerland is set at 2,279 francs per month on average for a single person and 3,963 francs per month for two adults and two children.

Most of those affected by financial difficulties are foreigners, single-parent households, and people with no post-compulsory education, the study found.

This is how Switzerland’s poverty level compares to other European nations:


Swiss virologist: “We don’t know what other corona variants are coming”

Most coronavirus restrictions in Switzerland are now lifted and the whiff of freedom is in the air again.

The last thing any of us want to do is think of Covid’s resurgence.

But as some health experts point out, we must remain cautious. “The pandemic is by no means over from a global perspective”, Isabelle Eckerle, head of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of Geneva said in interview with SRF public broadcaster.

The problem, she said, is that coronavirus continues to circulate worldwide, still causing high infection rates. “And the more cases of infection there are, the more opportunity the virus has to develop further. This is a highly dynamic event, and it’s not possible to predict what will happen next autumn and winter”, Eckerle pointed out.

It is therefore important “that the infection process in Switzerland continues to be monitored and documented, even is restrictions are no longer in effect”, she urged.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Switzerland ends most Covid restrictions — but what’s next?

Will Switzerland outlaw spanking of children?

This question is now being debated within the Legal Affairs Commission of the Council of States, after a proposal to this effect was adopted last September by the National Council.  

The MP behind the motion. Christine Bulliard-Marbach, said such legislation is crucial because, even though corporal punishment was outlawed in Switzerland in 1978, these measures are still prevalent in many families, which “can be humiliating for children and bad for their psychological development.”

She also pointed out that the UN has criticised Switzerland for not respecting its commitments to protect children against parental violence.

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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Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

From online scams to avoid to hot weather forecast: find out what's going on on Friday in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Campaign launched against online shopping scams

Swiss police are warning the public against online shopping scams, including  the latest one, involving the activation of an online payment system that allows scammers to make several online purchases at the expense of the victim.

The best way to protect yourself and not fall prey to scammers, police say is to:

  • Always verify the sender and amount when receiving a payment request;
  • Never transmit a confirmation code to third parties;
  • Always check account statements;
  • Immediately report any suspicious transactions;
  • Report any such crime to the police.

All the advice and recommendations can be found on this website.

READ MORE:  How to avoid the most common online scams in Switzerland

Free travel for Ukrainian refugees to end

Since March 21st, refugees from Ukraine have traveled free of charge in on public transportation in Switzerland, a service which was provided by the federal government.

This perk, however, will end from June 1st.

“This free travel saved us from considerable administrative work, as these people would have had to be issued transport cards for each stage of their registration procedure”, according to Anne Césard, spokesperson for the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

A number of MPs are challenging this decision, however.

 “If these people can no longer travel for free, this will constitute an additional obstacle to their chances of integration, knowing that the financial aid granted to them is very low”, said Pierre-Yves Maillard.

“As long as the majority of these people cannot meet their needs sufficiently, we must continue to help them by extending this free service, even if it is in the form of a subsidy”, said another deputy , Benjamin Roduit.

United States impressed by Swiss sanctions

The US government has praised what Switzerland has done so far in the search for Russian funds to block, according to Scott Miller, the American ambassador to Switzerland.

Bern has made “immense progress” in freezing about  6.3 billion francs, belonging primarily to Russian oligarchs with ties to president Putin.

“This is a package of sanctions of a weight and breadth that, to be honest, have never been seen in the world”, he added.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland is a magnet for Russian money

Get ready to be very hot today

If Swiss meteorologists got it right, temperatures will reach the high of 32 degrees today.

“The current heat wave is relatively extreme for a month of May”, said meteorologist Joshua Gehring from official weather service MeteoSwiss.

Screenshot MeteoSwiss

The reason: “What we are currently experiencing, that is to say a relatively early heat wave, is a direct consequence of climate change”, Gehring noted.

READ MORE: Heatwave: Why is it so hot in Switzerland right now?

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]