SHARE
COPY LINK
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.

Here's what's set to change in May in Switzerland. Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash
Here's what's set to change in May in Switzerland. Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

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. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWITZERLAND

Everything that changes in Switzerland in July 2022

Same-sex marriage, new rules for cars, and music festivals: this is what's in store for Switzerland in July.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in July 2022

Same-sex couples can marry at last

After Switzerland voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum on September 26th, 2021, the new law will enter into force on July 1st.

Gay couples will also be able to convert their registered partnership — which did not provide the same rights as marriage, including for obtaining citizenship and the joint adoption of children — will suffice to convert a current partnership.

READ MORE: Same-sex couples can marry from July 1st in Switzerland

Sessions with psychologists will be reimbursed by health insurance

Until now, Swiss basic insurance (KVG / LaMal) only covered mental health and treatment provided by psychiatrists.

But starting on July 1st, the cost of counselling offered by licensed psychologists will also be refunded, after agreement on hourly rates was reached between the association of psychologists and groups which determine medical rates.

READ MORE:  What isn’t covered by Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance?

New rules for electronic voting: pilot tests

Cantons will again be able to carry out electronic voting trials from July 1st.

The Federal Council has set July 1st as the entry into force of the new rules.

Electronic voting has been in the trial phase since 2004. Fifteen cantons have already created the necessary legal bases and conducted more than 300 successful tests.

Electronic voting will  only be accessible to part of the population — 30 percent of the cantonal electorate and 10 percent of the Swiss electorate as a whole.

Installing solar panels will become easier

Some solar installations on facades, dams or noise barriers can more easily be built from July 1st, as the Federal Council removed prior administrative obstacles to these actions.. The granting of authorisations for these structures may be accelerated and the conditions relaxed.

It will therefore be easier to set up such installations on a dam lake in an alpine environment or on a less sensitive part of the territory. There will no longer be a need for authorisation to install solar panels on roofs.

Swiss vehicles to be equipped with black boxes

Black boxes will be mandatory for new types of passenger cars and vans from July 1st, after the entry into force of a UN regulation.

The new regulation aims to allow significant progress in gathering data on road accidents and vehicle safety, according to the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

Thanks to the new device, investigators will be able to reconstruct an accident from five seconds before and until the vehicle is immobilised.

Summer holidays begin

Depending on the canton, almost all schoolchildren in Switzerland will start their summer break between July 4th and 11th. You can find out the date in each canton here.

However, getting to and from your holiday destination by air may not be all that relaxing: airports in Switzerland and throughout Europe are expecting huge crowds and chaos as travel is picking up after two years of Covid restrictions.

There will also be delays and disruptions due to some previously scheduled flights being cancelled.

Which flights have SWISS airlines cut ahead of summer season?

Passengers are advised to contact their airline to find out if their flight is affected.

READ MORE: ‘‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Switzerland’s famous jazz and rock festivals

July is the month when two world-famous music festivals take place annually in Switzerland.

The first, Montreux Jazz, begins on July 1st and goes through July 16th in Montreux, an old town located in Vaud on the shores of Lake Geneva, where Freddy Mercury, frontman of Queen once lived and worked.

This year’s line-up includes stars like Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock, and John Legend, among others.

The second music event, the Paléo Festival in Nyon, also in canton Vaud, will take place (after missing 2020 and 2021due to Covid) from July 19th to 24th, and feature world-class perfprmers like Sting, KISS, and dozen others.

Tickets to both events are usually snapped up as soon as the go on sale, but they may still be some for sale. You can check the availability here for Montreux and Paléo.

SHOW COMMENTS