Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 12 Jul, 2022 Updated Tue 12 Jul 2022 21:36 CEST
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Soccer players at the foot of the Saas-Fee glacier, which is closed to tourists this summer because of lack of protective snow. Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP

Foreign residents' view of life in Switzerland, Covid cases on the raise, and a spectacular phenomenon in the sky: this and other news in our roundup on Wednesday.

Foreigners like Swiss life but struggle to make friends

Most international workers appreciate the high quality of life that Switzerland offers, but often feel alone, according to a new study by InterNations.

Switzerland ranks sixth out of 52 countries for quality of life, and is in the second place for the environment and climate, as well as for safety. Survey participants also gave high scores to the country’s healthcare system and infrastructure.

However, many respondents find Swiss people difficult to befriend, and a third are dissatisfied with their social life.

You can see study findings in more detail here.

READ MORE: ‘Suspicious of the unknown’: Is it difficult to make friends in Switzerland?
 

Covid cases continue to soar

Nearly 56,000 people tested positive to coronavirus in Switzerland in a span of one week, according to data that the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) released on Tuesday.

As a comparison, just over 46,000 new contaminations were reported in the week between June 28th and July 5th, up from 33,108 cases the week before.

The steadily growing rate of infections is in line with epidemiologists’ warnings about the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron sub-variants.

Switzerland wants to halve speed limit on motorways

In order to reduce traffic jams, the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) is examining the feasibility of lowering the speed limit on the country’s motorways from the current 120 km / h to 60 km /h for a better flow of traffic.

Road congestion can also be expensive, both in terms of money and environmental damage, according to the Federal Office for Spatial Development, which estimates total loss each year at over 2 billion francs.

But the Swiss Road Transport Association argues that if implemented, this measure would create more problems than it solves: drivers would avoid motorways altogether and use alternate routes instead, including cantonal roads where the speed limit is 80 km/h

Swiss glacier closes for the summer

For the first time, the Saas-Fee glacier will be off-limits to tourists during summer due to the insufficient snow cover caused by very high temperatures in recent weeks.

Insufficient snow on the 3,500-metre-high Valais glacier means it lacks the protective ‘cover’, according to Emmanuel Rossi, deputy director of the Saas Fee ski lifts, and the exposed layer should not be trampled on.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland’s glaciers are melting faster than usual this summer
 

Super Full Moon will illuminate Swiss sky tonight

Grab your telescope and binoculars and head outdoors to watch the Super Full Moon in the dark night sky.

From about 10:30 pm, the moon will appear particularly large and will be 16 percent brighter than a typical Full Moon. It may also have a slight pink hue to it.

As the weather forecast calls for clear skies, the Super Full Moon will be visible to the naked eye, but it’s best to observe the phenomenon from a place undisturbed by electric lights.

 

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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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/07/12 21:36

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