Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
From cancelled flights to destroyed Covid vaccines: find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.
Easyjet cancels hundreds of fights
In the middle of the travel-heavy Ascension weekend, the airline cancelled between 200 and 400 flights in Europe, most of them from Geneva.
The fault lies with an undefined “IT problem”.
Easyjet advises all passengers booked for this weekend to check the status of their flights.
Russians continue to vacation in Switzerland
Even though no flights from Russia have not been allowed to land in Switzerland since sanctions against Vladimir Putin had been put into place at the end of February, a number of visitors from that country have been spotted recently at the some traditional tourist destinations, including Zermatt, St. Moritz, and others.
How do these people manage to come to Switzerland?
It turns out Russian travel agencies and individual tourists circumvent the Swiss and European sanctions by flying from Russia to Dubai or Turkey, and then taking a plane from there to Switzerland, according to a report in Blick.
People who book their flight this way are wealthy, as dodging the sanctions doesn’t come cheap.
The Blick calculated that a one-week holiday for two people in Switzerland, including a round-trip flight from Russia to Switzerland via Dubai or Turkey, costs about 450'000 rubles (6,700 francs), while an average monthly wage in Russia amounts to just over 56,000 rubles— 828 francs.
You do the math.
Government to destroy 620,000 doses of Covid vaccines
More than 620,000 Moderna doses whose expiration date has passed will be destroyed, according to RTS public broadcaster.
The reason, said health policy expert Patrick Durisch, is that Swiss government purchased far too many vaccines.
“We are talking about 34 million doses for a country of over 8 million inhabitants. If we remove the children and those who are reluctant to get vaccinated, we have five to six doses per person”.
For Durisch, acquiring extra quantities of doses in a pandemic is legitimate, but over-buying to the extent that Swiss authorities did is not.
“We have always planned for a double vaccination and boosters, but never five or six ", he said.
Switzerland calls on beverage manufacturers to cut sugar
The government is asking companies producing soft drinks to make them less sweet, as excessive sugar consumption can have adverse effects on health, including an increased risk of developing diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease.
The Federal Council’s goal is to reduce sugar content by an average of 10 percent by 2024.
However “sugar reduction is not that easy. An entire business model is at stake for beverage manufacturers. A cola with less sugar doesn't taste the same as one based on the original recipe — and it probably doesn’t sell well”, according to Watson news portal.
The government’s goal is to “get consumers accustomed to a less sweet taste” so that they can also choose healthier versions of other foods, Watson noted.
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