Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Medical marijuana is now legal in Switzerland, expert advice against electric heaters, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Monday.
Reminder: Ban on fireworks, open fires in parts of Switzerland today
While firework displays as well as bonfires are a traditional part of the National Day celebrations, which the Swiss mark today, this year is different.
Because of the on-going heatwave and the drought it created, a number of cantons and municipalities in Switzerland have either issued total bans or partial restrictions against fireworks and open fires.
This article outlines what bans are in place where:
Switzerland legalises medicinal marijuana
Starting today, the Swiss government is authorising the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
This means patients who have a prescription from a doctor will no longer have to seek special permission from the health ministry to obtain this drug, as was the case previously.
The government “intends to facilitate access to cannabis for medical use for patients”, as the previous process involved “tedious administrative procedures”, the ministry said. “Sick people must be able to access these medicines without excessive bureaucracy.”
Recreational cannabis, however, remains illegal.
New rules for Covid testing in Zurich
Starting today, new criteria will apply to testing centres and pharmacies in the canton of Zurich.
Nasal swabs for rapid antigen and PCR tests can now only be carried out by personnel with basic medical training, including medical students and pharmacy assistants.
Prior to August 1st, other people were also authorised to perform these tests after receiving appropriate training.
This is why you should not rush to buy electric heaters
As the natural gas shortage is threatening Swiss households next winter, an increasing number of people are purchasing electric heaters for their homes.
In fact, Digitec Galaxus online retailer has recorded an explosion in sales of these devices — an increase of 370 percent in June compared to the same period last year.
However, Michael Frank, director of the Association of Swiss Electric Companies, is warning consumers that this rush is likely to have adverse consequences for the electricity supply.
If the gas heaters are replaced by emergency electric heaters, “electricity consumption will increase massively, when the situation is already tense”, he said.
Which cabinet members do Swiss like the most (and least)?
Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter got the highest rating from respondents to a new survey by Sotomo research institute published in Swiss media on Sunday.
Economy Minister Guy Parmelin comes second, just ahead of Defense Minister Viola Amherd in third place, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer (4), Interior Minister Alain Berset (5), and Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (6).
Foreign Affairs Minister and the current Swiss president Ignazio Cassis got the lowest score, mostly due to contradictory statements and actions regarding Switzerland’s stance on sanctions against Moscow
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]