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WHAT CHANGES IN SWITZERLAND

Everything that changes in Switzerland in March 2022

From winding the clocks to Covid measures, this is what is set to change in Switzerland in March 2022

What changes in March 2022 in Switzerland? Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash
What changes in March 2022 in Switzerland? Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Spring arrives!

We don’t know yet what the weather will be on that day, but he official beginning of spring season falls on Sunday March 20th and will last until June 21st, when summer begins.

Rewind the clocks

Daylight saving time (DST) will begin at 02:00 am on Sunday March 27th, when Swiss clocks will go forward an hour. Sunrise and sunset will be about one hour later and there will be more light in the evening.

DST will end on Sunday October 31st at 03:00 am.

Remaining Covid restrictions to fall at the end of the month

While most coronavirus measures were scrapped as of February 17th, only the requirements to isolate in the event of a positive test and to wear masks on public transport and in healthcare institutions remain in place.

They will be scrapped at the end of March, “If the epidemiological situation continues to evolve as expected”, the Federal Council said.

READ MORE: Q&A: Everything you need to know about Switzerland relaxing Covid measures

Spring session of the parliament

Starting on February 28th and continuing until March 18th, both houses of the parliament— the National Council and the Council of States— will convene in Bern’s Federal Palace for the spring session.

This will be the first time in two years the MPs will participate in the March session under ‘normal’ circumstances  — in March 2020 spring sessions were interrupted due to Covid-related confinement, and the following year deputies met in the chambers under strict health measures, which included distance, masks, and plexiglass dividers.

Ski season ends in some Swiss resorts

While most of Switzerland’s high-altitude ski lifts remain open through April and even May, some close at the end of March.

Among them are First (Grindelwald), Madrisa (Davos Klosters), Evolène (Valais), and a number of others.

You can see what they are, as well as closing dates for other resorts here.

Tax time!

It may not be anyone’s favourite time of the year, but there is no way to escape it: Swiss tax declarations are due on March 31st for most residents.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How where you live in Switzerland impacts how much income tax you pay
 

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWITZERLAND

Everything that changes in Switzerland in May 2022

From changing Covid rules to the next round of referenda, this is what is happening in Switzerland in May 2022.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in May 2022

May 1st: Labour Day

Like many other countries Switzerland is celebrating Labour Day on May 1st (which has nothing to do with the Labor Day in the United States, which falls on the first Monday of September).

In Switzerland, it is also known as International Workers’ Day and May Day.

As it is falling on a Sunday this year, you will not get half a day off work – although a movement has been kick started to change all that. 

READ MORE: Swiss politicians call for ‘lost’ public holidays to be replaced

May 2nd: All entry restrictions to Switzerland will be lifted

Travellers from abroad will once again be able to enter Switzerland or apply for a visa under the usual (pre-Covid) conditions.

The last entry restrictions still in force be dropped on May 2nd.

On that date, vaccine requirement for all tourists, regardless of where they come from, will fall.

READ MORE: Switzerland to drop vaccine requirement for entry from May 2nd

May 2nd: New Covid certificate enters into force

The Federal Council decided that Covid recovery certificates can be issued on the basis of a positive rapid antigen test or a laboratory-based immunological analysis.

Because of new rules in the EU, these certificates will be recognised internationally. 

They can be issued retroactively for positive test results from October 2nd, 2021. 

However, “because no similar rules existed at EU level at the time, they were only valid in Switzerland. Certificates already issued on this basis must be applied for again and re-issued for international compatibility”.  

May 9th: Consultation for extension of Covid law ends

Although no Covid measures are currently in place in Switzerland – and the few that remain for entering the country will be removed on May 2nd – the legal framework which allows the government to make Covid rules remains in place. 

Currently, the Swiss government is undergoing a consultation with the cantons, which is set to end on May 9th, about the continuation of the framework. 

Issues such as covering the costs for Covid tests and issuing Covid certificates for travel abroad will be discussed. 

While the Covid Act is currently set to expire at the end of 2022, it is expected to be extended until at least June 2024. More information is available here

May 15th: Switzerland votes

In the second of four rounds of national referendums scheduled for 2022, the Swiss will head to the polls on May 15th to decide on three issues: The Film Act, support for European border guards (Frontex), and transplant /organ donation law.

More information about issues at stake can be found here:

EXPLAINED: What’s at stake in Switzerland’s May referendums?

May 26th: Ascension Day

Thursday May 26th will mark the Ascension Day, a religious holiday, which is a national public holiday in Switzerland.  

While the following day, Friday the 27th, is not a public holiday — that is, stores and most other businesses operate as usual — schools and some offices remain closed until Monday.

READ MORE: When are the public holidays in Switzerland in 2022?

Spring in full swing

After a cold and miserable winter and spring, things should improve from May onwards in Switzerland. 

Although May is a notoriously temperamental month – with temperatures hitting highs of 20C degrees in Geneva, Bern, Basel and Zurich – the nights can still get very cold, with lows touching on 0C. 

Whatever you plan on doing in Switzerland in May, channel your inner Swiss and remember that preparation is your friend, so bring appropriate clothing for rain, cold and of course golden sunshine. 

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