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

Some relief on the weather front; and higher prices for air travel to continue: this and other news from Switzerland on Monday.

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Higher prices for airline tickets will continue beyond summer. Photo by Fabian Joy on Unsplash

This week’s weather: rain

After days of very hot weather, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, forecasts call for rain during the last days of this month, according to Meteonews.

Broadly speaking, a few thunderstorms have already hit some parts of Switzerland on Sunday evening and overnight. Today and the rest of the week will be marked by regionally heavy showers, possibly accompanied by gusty winds and cooler temperatures.

The weather for next few days. Screenshot: Meteonews

While sun may briefly return on Wednesday and Thursday, further deterioration is expected between Thursday evening and Friday.

Depending on the amount of rain that will fall in the next days, the precipitations may bring at least some relief to extremely arid soil, meteorologists say.

Switzerland asked to approve anti-Omicron vaccine

Covid vaccine manufacturer Moderna applied for the authorisation for its updated vaccine that targets Omicron, according to drug regulatory body, Swissmedic.

“The modified composition promises to be more effective against the Omicron variant”, the health agency said.

Previous vaccines were efficient against earlier mutations like Delta, but they proffered no immunity against Omicron, which now accounts for 99 percent of Covid infections in Switzerland.

Swissmedic has not said when approval for the modified vaccine will be given, but it could possibly speed up the administration of second booster doses for general public, which Swiss health authorities have not yet rolled out.

READ MORE: Reader question: When will Switzerland authorise second Covid booster shots

Price of airline tickets will continue to rise

As though cancelled flights and chaos at airports don’t cause enough travel woes, flying is becoming more expensive as well.

It’s not unusual that prices of plane tickets increase just before high-volume travel times like summer holidays.

This year, however, as the war in Ukraine is causing fuel costs to go up, airline tickets will be more expensive even during low-travel periods like fall.

SWISS airline, for instance, has increased the prices of its flights worldwide in recent months, and could continue this upward trend in the autumn.

“Due to the current price of crude oil, further price adjustments for air travel are likely this year,” the company spokesperson said.

SWISS’ sister airline, Edelweiss Air, also confirmed its passengers are facing higher costs.

“Flying in the future may cost more than in previous years,” the company predicted.

And speaking of cancelled flights…

SWISS airline already said on June 8th that it is cancelling a number of flights from both Zurich in Geneva during the busy summer travel season, including those to London Heathrow and San Francisco.

On Sunday, Switzerland’s national airline announced that on top of the flights already suspended, “further cuts unfortunately cannot be avoided due to resource constraints and operational challenges across the airline industry”.

The carrier did not specify which routes will be affected, but said passengers “will be actively informed. Automatic reservation changes will be made or individual solutions will be sought”.

READ MORE: Which flights have SWISS airlines cut ahead of summer season?

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

Switzerland ranked the world’s most innovative country, developments on the job market, and other news in our roundup on Friday.

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

Switzerland gets one more honour

After being named the Best Country in the World by US News & World Report this week, Switzerland also won the title of the world’s most innovative nation on Thursday.

This title is bestowed each year by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency headquartered in Geneva.

Switzerland is not exactly a newcomer to this index, having been chosen for the top spot among more than 130 countries for the 12th consecutive year.

Switzerland tops the ranking because “it leads globally in innovation outputs, and specifically in patents by origin, software spending, and high-tech manufacturing”, WIPO said.

READ MORE: Switzerland ranked ‘best country’ in the world

Swiss job market still going strong

New data from Michael Page recruitment agency indicates that jobs are plentiful in Switzerland: 15.6 percent more now than at the same time in 2021.

The strongest increase — 16.7 percent — is reported in the Lake Geneva region, which encompasses Geneva and Vaud.

In terms of jobs, the biggest demand is in the social sector, where the number of job listings has gone up by 48.2 percent.

Next is banking (40.3 percent), followed by administrative positions (37.2). 

Not surprisingly, demand in the energy sector also went up — by 22.8 percent.

Mortgage rates have gone up in Switzerland

The rates have risen sharply since the Swiss National Bank (SNB) increased the key interest rate by 0.75 percentage points on Friday.

New 10-year fixed mortgages, the most popular in Switzerland, saw their rates rise to 3.21 percent, against 2.94 percent in mid-June, according to a new study by Comparis price comparison site.

Rates on other terms also rose, with the five-year mortgage now at 3.0 percent from 2.54 in June. As for the 15-year mortgage, it reached 3.39 percent, compared to the 3.06 percent three months ago.

“The SNB’s decision to raise key interest rates took the markets by surprise”, said Leo Hug, Comparis’ money expert.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What the steep rise in Swiss interest rates could mean for you

Switzerland to go vegetarian tomorrow

On October 1st, the country will be celebrating the “Swisstainable Veggie Day”, with numerous restaurants throughout Switzerland offering “varied and creative” vegetarian meals on this day.

The vegetarian-only menu will also be served to Business Class passengers on board SWISS and Edelweiss planes, and all McDonald’s restaurants will also have only no-meat dishes on this day.

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]