Everything that changes in Switzerland in November 2023

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Everything that changes in Switzerland in November 2023
November is a month for flu shots. Image by LuAnn Hunt from Pixabay

From health insurance deadline to getting a shot in the arm, we have put together the roundup of the key changes and events in Switzerland in November 2023.


November 1st: Religious holiday

The All Saints’ Day, which commemorates all Christian saints and martyrs, is a public holiday in all but 11 cantons: Aargau, Basel-Country, Basel-City, Bern, Geneva, Graubünden, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Vaud, and Zurich.

November 1st to November 30th: Quit smoking!
You don’t have to wait until November to give up this habit, (the sooner the better), but November is earmarked in Switzerland as a “Month Without Tobacco," so it is a good time to quit once and for all.

The national online campaign, promoted by the Tobacco Prevention Fund, aims to “offer a tool to help the many people who wish to free themselves from cigarettes".

In Switzerland, 27 percent of the population smoke, exposing themselves to the higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, among other medical conditions.

More information about the November campaign can be found here.

November 1st: Free access to official government documents 

New amendments to the Transparency Act will make it possible for members of the public to view the documents of federal administration

The access will be free of charge, except in cases where the request to see the documents entails "a significant additional work on the part of the authorities," the government said.


November 1st: New guidelines for blood donation
From this day, blood donations can be made regardless of sexual orientation.
In addition, men have who have had sexual relations with other men will no longer have to wait a year before donating blood.

The rule restricting gay men from donating blood first went into effect in the midst of the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s. 

The new rule is based "on an updated risk assessment of various sexual behaviours and takes due account of the epidemiological situation in Switzerland, as well as data from other countries that have already adapted their donation criteria accordingly,” the government pointed out.

From November 4th: Some ski resorts set to open

Even though snow may be scarce after an extremely hot summer, a number of high-altitude resorts will inaugurate their ski season during the month of November. Among them are:

  • Engelberg: November 4th
  • Davos: November 10th
  • Andermatt, Crans-Montana, and Grindelwald: mid-November
  • Celerina and Klosters: November 25th

November 10th: Flu shots begin

The National Flu Vaccination Day will take place on November 10th, kicking off vaccinations, along with an awareness campaign about the importance of immunising against this contagious disease, especially for older people and those with chronic illnesses.

The Federal Vaccinations Commission and the Federal Office of Public Health recommend the jabs for people in the following categories:

Anyone aged 65 or over
Children and adult aged six months and over with certain chronic conditions or low immunity
Pregnant women
Children aged six months and over who were born prematurely

New this year, shots are also recommended for people who have regular contact with poultry or wild birds. This is intended to prevent  contracting an avian flu virus and a human flu virus at the same time.

From November 16th: Christmas markets

Yes, it's 'this' time of the year again.

Though Christmas is still weeks away (and most holiday markets don't open until the beginning of December), some will be welcoming visitors already from November:

  • November 16th: Geneva
  • November 17th: Lausanne
  • November 23rd: Montreux, Basel, Zurich, and Zug
  • November 30th: Lugano


November 30th: Health insurance deadline

This is also is an important month for people who have a compulsory health insurance KVG / LaMal (which is practically everyone in Switzerland), as the 30th is the deadline to cancel your current plan and switch to another one in 2024 — if that’s what you would like to do.

Premiums for next year will increase by 8.7 percent on average in 2023,

By now, you  have received a letter from your insurance company, notifying you of the premium for your health insurance for 2024 — by law, carriers must announce the new rates to their clients no later than October 31st.

If you do decide to  switch to another provider, or remain with your current carrier but perhaps make changes to your policy — for instance, raise or lower your co-pay deductible — you must do so before the end of this month.

Throughout the month

Novembers are typically not the best months weather-wise. 

It can be grey, cold and wet, but don't let that dampen your spirits, especially as there are plenty of things to do and enjoy:

READ ALSO: 10 events in Switzerland you shouldn't miss this November


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