Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Same-sex marriage becomes legal, the number of Covid cases is underestimated, and other news from Switzerland on Friday.
Same-sex couples can marry — at last
Today, July 1st, is a historic day for gay couples wishing to wed: they finally have that right in Switzerland.
After the Swiss voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum on September 26th, 2021, the new law is entering into force today.
These 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 — into a legal marriage.
Other laws and rules that are being implemented from July 2022 are detailed here:
Number of current Covid cases in Switzerland is underestimated
This week, 33,108 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Switzerland in a span of seven days, an increase of 34 percent over the previous week.
However, health officials believe the real number of new infections is much higher. That’s because, judging by how many antigen or PCR tests have been done during this period of time, only a small portion of the infected population actually gets screened; most positive cases are therefore not detected.
Swiss health officials already said that 15 percent of Swiss population — more than 1 million people — could catch the Omicron virus (or its sub-variants) this summer.
On the positive side, “the situation is a little better” now than during the Delta variant wave, according to Tanja Stadler, former head of the Covid-19 Task Force, who also said that, despite the increase in cases, Swiss healthcare system will not be overloaded.
Heavy traffic on many Swiss roads this weekend
With several cantons beginning their school summer holidays this weekend, bottlenecks are expected to slow down traffic within Switzerland as well as on motorways and in tunnels leading to neighbour countries.
These roads are usually most congested during high-volume times like the start of holidays:
- The A3/A1 Basel-Zurich axis
- The A3/A13 Zurich-Chur-San Bernardino-Bellinzona-Chiasso axis, particularly near Chur and the San Bernardino tunnel
- Bern and surroundings (A1/A12/A6 interchange)
- The A9 Lausanne-Montreux-Martigny-Brigue mainly near Lausanne and Montreux
- The Martigny – Grand-St.-Bernard tunnel axis
Switzerland and France will be linked together
A bridge is to be built between Basel and Huningue, a town in Alsace – the first Rhine bridge connecting Switzerland and France.
On Thursday, Swiss officials, along with their counterparts from France, and Germany — the two countries that border Basel —signed an agreement for the project to start in 2025, and unveiled the plans for the new connection across the river.
"A new bridge over the Rhine is central to growing together and mobility in the three countries”, officials said.
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