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

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 Monday
There could be a shortage of certain medications in Switzerland. Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Winter has made a comeback in Switzerland— this is what’s ahead

Snow fell on parts of Switzerland over the past few days, bringing with it unseasonably cold temperatures to wipe out springlike weather of late March.

This week temperatures are expected to rise but only slightly, with MeteoNews meteorological service forecasting between 7 and 10 degrees and rain through Tuesday.

 Wednesday should be sunny and about 13 degrees, followed by changeable and windy weather in the second half of the week.

It is too early to forecast with certainty what the weather will be like over Easter, but we will keep you posted!

You can follow the forecast for your area here.

Masks remain compulsory in certain places

Since April 1st, masks must no longer  be worn in publicly-accessible places in Switzerland.

Nevertheless, cantons of Zurich, Basel-Country, Basel-City, Bern, Fribourg, Jura, Valais and Geneva, still maintain the mask obligation in health institutions, such as hospitals and elderly care homes.

This measure applies to staff and visitors alike.

Switzerland faces shortage of medications

While there is still a sufficient quantity of drugs at present time, the Federal Office for National Economic Supply (FONES) has issued a warning that the “market is under pressure” and shortage of certain critical painkillers and antibiotics is looming.

According to Sunday’s edition of Tages-Anzeiger, the expected shortage is due to considerable quantities of relief goods, including medicines, being shipped to  Ukraine.

Switzerland is now drawing antibiotics and pain drugs for domestic use from emergency stocks, Tages-Anzeiger said.

READ MORE: UPDATE: How Switzerland could be impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Health insurance premiums could rise this fall

Health premiums could increase by 7 to 9 percent in the autumn, a prediction based on the costs borne by the basic health insurance companies, according to media reports.

“It is always difficult to articulate numbers so early in the year, but a significant increase this fall is unfortunately conceivable,” said MP Benjamin Roduit.

Without commenting specifically on the amount of the increase, the spokesperson for SantéSuisse, an umbrella group for insurance companies, conceded the industry  is “very concerned about the sharp increase in premiums in 2023”.

READ MORE: Reader question: Can Swiss health insurance exclude me if I have pre-existing conditions?

Fourth dose of Covid vaccine given in Switzerland in certain cases

Some Swiss doctors are administering a second round of boosters off-label — meaning before  an official recommendation to do so is issued by health authorities.

This move is based on Israeli data showing that a second booster significantly reduces the risk of a severe course of Covid, according  to Huldrych Günthard, an infectiologist from the University Hospital.

“I advise immunocompromised people, but also those over 70, to take a second booster four months after the last vaccination”, he said.

He added that anyone who wants the second booster must sign a form releasing the administering person from liability in the event of complications.

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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For members


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

Unemployed foreigners, sexist work ads, and other news: find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the latest happenings.

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

Zug helps unemployed expatriates find new jobs

Out of the 1,300 current job seekers in Zug, a relatively high proportion of around 300 people are foreign employees. This is due to the fact that an above-average number of international  companies — mostly in raw materials, chemical and financial services sectors — are based in the low-tax canton.

However, according to a report by public broadcaster SRF, finding a job is more difficult there because most foreigners in Zug are highly specialised in their fields and can’t easily switch from one industry to another.

The canton is now helping unemployed foreigners back into the job market — for instance, by setting up job fairs where job seekers meet recruiters and companies looking for personnel.

 “Zug is a very attractive job market, and if we help the unemployed expats, many can gain a professional foothold here again”, according to Gianni Bomio, president of the canton’s Association for Labour Market Measures.

READ MORE: MAP: Where do Switzerland’s English-speakers live?

Swiss bank blasted for sexist advert

Postfinance,  a financial services unit of Swiss Post, is looking to hire software developers, but only those who  — according to an ad placed on the LinkedIn’s career platform  — “do not devote working hours to the fight for equality”.

Specifically, it seeks employees who want to work out “the difference between 0 and 1 and not between XX and XY” — the former referring to codes and the latter to male and female chromosomes.

While the advertisement was intended to be clever, “with this text, Postfinance is massively devaluing the fight for equality”, said Agota Lavoyer, an expert on sexualised violence.

In its defense, Postfinance responded that its ad was misunderstood.

“The message is that equality is firmly anchored in the culture at Postfinance and is so normal that employees do not have to spend any time on the job thinking about it”, said spokesperson Dörte Horn.

Now is a good time to sell your house

Property prices have skyrocketed in recent months, and a house today costs almost 30 percent more than a decade ago, according to real estate consultancy firm Iazi. And in certain high-demand areas like Zurich and the Lake Geneva region, prices are significantly higher.

Ruedi Tanner, president of the Swiss Chamber of Brokers (CSC) said owners who are selling their properties now “have clearly chosen a good time”.

The demand is such that “in many regions, there are hardly any more offers on the property market”, he added.

READ MORE: Swiss property prices see strongest rise in years

Idyllic Ticino village a hub of criminal activity

When the Italian-speaking canton published its annual statistics recently, many were astonished (and not in a good way) to discover that a small commune of  Riva San Vitale registered 791 crimes in 2021.

This means the crime rate has increased by 1313 percent compared to previous year. “When I read that, I was flabbergasted,” said Antonio Guidali, mayor of the 2,600-resident community.

It turns out, however, that there is no need to rush for bullet-proof vests; according to police reports, only two residents, who committed several hundred cases of insurance fraud, are to blame for the staggering crime rate.

The statistical anomaly occurred because each single case of fraud has been registered as an individual offense

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]