Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Hurry up to the post office if you want your packages to arrive by Christmas. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Covid certificate is extended; how a rail strike may affect your holiday travel plans; and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.


Government extends certain pandemic-related measures

Covid is no longer the hot-button topic it was during the past two Christmases, but the Federal Council decided on Wednesday to extend certain coronavirus-related ordinances.

“Even if the situation has stabilised, it is difficult to reliably predict the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the government explained.

For this reason, the Covid-19 law will be extended until June 30th, 2024.

Regarding Covid certificates – allowing people living in Switzerland to travel abroad more easily — they are extended until August 31st, 2023.

The Federal Council said that “their use must remain possible, even if they are not currently necessary in Switzerland. ”

The system will remain “compatible with the European Union Covid-19 digital certificate.” 


Christmas rail strike in France will impact Swiss commuters
From December 23rd to the 25rh, a strike at the SNCF French national railways will disrupt some TGV traffic between certain Swiss cities and Paris, a popular destination during the holiday season.

More information about disruptions and cancellations can be found here.

Passengers whose trains are cancelled can change their tickets free of charge, TGV said.

Warm Christmas means artificial snow in the Alps
The days between Christmas and New Year are among the most important for Swiss mountain resorts, but rising temperatures mean that natural snow is not a given, especially at lower altitudes.

Does this mean you should give up your dream of dashing down a snowy slope?

Not necessarily: many ski areas are resorting to artificial snow for the holidays.

“Neither the supply nor the quality of the slopes can be guaranteed with natural snow alone,” according to Seilbahnen Schweiz, the association of the Swiss cable car industry.

“And that requires artificial snow, the density of which is many times higher than that of natural snow.”
READ MORE: Will there be a white Christmas in Switzerland this year? 


Switzerland set to reduce electricity consumption

In order to follow the objectives set by the European Union, Switzerland will reduce its electricity consumption by at least 10 percent compared to the average of the last five years, the Federal Council announced on Wednesday.

And at peak times, an additional 5 percent reduction will need to be made from January to March.

With this step, Switzerland will help lower wholesale prices and strengthen security of supply in Europe, the government said.

The current energy saving campaign should make it possible to obtain the desired reduction in electricity consumption. It will continue until the winter of 2023/2024, given the uncertainties regarding the supply.

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

Last but not least... 

A reminder from the Swiss Post: if you want your Christmas packages to arrive at their destination in Switzerland in time for Christmas, you should mail them today.
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