Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 5 Sep, 2022 Updated Mon 5 Sep 2022 07:55 CEST
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Plastic supermarket bags will no longer be free of charge in Geneva. Image by Hans from Pixabay

Update of the Covid certificate app, government purchases mobile gas facilities, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Monday.

Swiss Covid certificate app to be updated today

As Covid certificates are valid in Switzerland for nine months, those of people who have had their last shot in November 2021 are no longer valid in Switzerland, with their apps now showing the message “Period of validity for Switzerland exceeded”.

Since some countries still require a proof of vaccination to enter, starting today, the “validity in Switzerland” field with be deleted from the app. Instead, only the number of days since the last dose will be shown.

However, “even a certificate that is expired in Switzerland can be valid abroad”, according to Federal Office of Public Health.

In the EU, for example, the booster vaccine currently has no expiration date, so the Swiss certificate remains valid there.

READ MORE: What will Switzerland do about the ‘millions’ of expiring Covid certificates?

Government taking concrete measures to strengthen Switzerland's energy supply

As Switzerland lacks its own gas storage facitilites, and energy shortage is looming, the Federal Council has signed a first contract to buy mobile reserve power stations.

So far, eight modular and mobile gas turbines have been purchased.

 “They run on gas, but also on oil or hydrogen”, according to Energy Ministry, and “each of the eight turbines has a power of at least 30 megawatts, for a total of around 250 megawatts”.

The Ministry added that “negotiations are ongoing” to purchase more mobile gas turbines before winter.

First Swiss cities respond to government's energy saving appeal

The Federal Council announced its recommendations for cutting energy consumption on August 31st — measures which include, among others, lowering the room and water temperature, as well as turning off lights in unoccupied premises.

The Swiss Association of Cities voiced its support for the government’s recommendations, and a few cities have already taken voluntary measures.

For instance, Bern is lowering the room temperature by two degrees in administration buildings; Basel is reducing heating to 19C in public offices, and in Zug “ the temperature in schools and administration buildings will be lowered by two degrees - regardless of whether a shortage occurs," according to Urs Raschle, head of the city’s Social Affairs, Environment and Safety Department.

In addition to changes at the municipal level, some nationwide steps will also be taken: both Migros and Coop have announced they would forego any lighting in their stores at night, including light displays during the Christmas season.

READ MORE: What the Swiss government is asking you to do to save energy

Waste sorting becomes compulsory in Geneva

Geneva residents and businesses must now sort their waste — the first canton in Switzerland to introduce such law.

The measure was adopted on Friday by the Geneva parliament. The reform aims at reducing the amount of waste generated in the canton, improving recycling, and disposing of trash in an environmentally friendly manner.  

The new rule also seeks to minimise the use of plastic. From now on, all plastic bags, including those intended for fruit and vegetables in stores, will no longer be free of charge. 

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]




Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/09/05 07:55

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