Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2022
Public transport will no longer be free for Ukrainians, Covid boosters could be on the way and will Migros start selling alcohol after being dry for more than a century? Here are the big changes forecast for this month in Switzerland.
June 1st: New anti-terrorism measures enter into force
The new law, accepted in a referendum on June 13th, 2021, extends police powers to combat terrorism.
Law enforcement agencies will be able to use preventive methods against terrorism, such as electronic surveillance or house arrest.
Nearly 57 percent of Swiss voters heeded the Federal Council's calls for a stronger protection against terrorism, even though it drew criticism from human rights groups like United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Amnesty International.
June 1st: No more free rides for Ukrainian refugees
Since March 21st, refugees from Ukraine have traveled free of charge 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).
Some cantons could offer alternative, though not as far-reaching solutions. Vaud, for instance, is providing limited-range tickets valid for travel from the refugee's commune of residence to the nearest hospital, school, or refugee support centre.
Could we finally see beer, wine and spirits on the shelves of Migros?
Swiss supermarket Migros has not sold alcohol since its founding more than 100 years ago, but that could be set to change this month.
Currently, the delegates which run Migros stores are voting on whether to change this policy. The decision will be announced in mid-June, with alcoholic beverages appearing on Migros shelves as early as July 1st.
As we reported previously, the situation will be up to the regional delegations, of which there are ten.
Each delegation will decide whether its stores will allow the sale of alcohol, which could mean some Migros sell booze while others do not.
Although the change may seem seismic, as we've written before, the supermarket has in fact sold alcohol through a variety of loopholes previously.
June 6th: Whit Monday
Whit Monday, a religious observance also called Pentcoast, is national holiday except in cantons Neuchâtel, Soloturn, Valais, and Zug.
June 10th: Possible new rules for Covid boosters
According to newest recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), people travelling abroad who need second booster doses must pay for the shots themselves.
As the fourth vaccine dose is currently recommended only for people with a severely weakened immune system, everyone outside of this group will be charged as yet undefined fee.
Until now, all the Covid vaccinations had been free of charge.
The proposal was sent to the cantons for consultation until June 1st. If agreed on, the Federal Council will adjust the Epidemics Ordinance accordingly on June 10th.
June 21st: First day of summer
This day marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
While we can't say what the weather will be like on this particular day, we can expect the season to be "hotter than usual,” according to Thomas Buchel, head of SRF Meteo.
“New heat records are very likely", he said, adding that temperatures “could hit 40 degrees”.
While many people in Switzerland are looking forward to a hot summer, the reason for the heatwave gives no reason for joy: meteorologists say it is “is a direct consequence of climate change”.
June 30th: Telework agreements between Switzerland and neighbour nations end
Once the Covid-related health measures, including home office requirement, were lifted in Switzerland between February 17th on April 1st, the future of home working agreements n relation to taxes for cross-border workers became uncertain.
However, the Federal Social Insurance Office (OFAS) has extended existing conditions until June 30th .
"With regard to Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Liechtenstein, a flexible application of the coverage rules has been agreed until June 30, 2022", OFAS said.
The ordinary coverage rules will fully apply again from July 1st, 2022", it said, adding that "discussions are taking place at European level on a possible evolution of the legal framework, but a short or medium term outcome is not likely".