Everything that changes about life in Switzerland in April 2024

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Everything that changes about life in Switzerland in April 2024
During April, you will learn why this is a definite 'no-no'. Image by flockine from Pixabay

From new rules for e-bikes and cars, to Geneva's ban on disposable tableware, this is what is set to change in Switzerland in April 2024.


April 1st - Easter Monday

Most cantons have a public holiday on this day, meaning many workplaces and shops, as well as all schools, will be shut. 

It's officially a day off across Switzerland apart from residents in the cantons of Valais, Neuchatel, Solothurn and Zug.

However companies in these cantons may still give their workers the day off. 

April 1st: New speed rule for high-speed electric bikes

All high-speed e-bikes that exceed 45 km/h, will have to be equipped with a speedometer when they are put into circulation for the first time. 

Owners of fast electric bikes that are already in circulation, on the other hand, have until April 1st, 2027 to equip their bikes with a tachometer  — an instrument which measures the working speed of an engine.

This measure is being put in place to avoid cyclists speeding in areas limited to 20 or 30 km/h, the government said.

It applies to all public traffic areas.

This new rule will be an addition to the already existing electric bike regulations:

READ ALSO: Switzerland's laws that electric bike owners need to know

April 1st: New safety standards for new vehicles go into effect

New vehicles will have to be equipped with new driver assistance systems.

They will  make it possible, for example, to alert the driver in the event of drowsiness or distraction, to carry out emergency braking, or to provide assistance when reversing and changing direction.

New vehicles must also be equipped with an accident data recorder.

April 2nd: Geneva bans disposable tableware in public places

From this day, organisers of public events subject to authorisation will have to replace all disposable utensils with the reusable kind to serve food and drinks.

The reasons for the move is that single-use tableware generates waste, and its disposal requires that additional human and financial resources  be allocated to cleanups.

They also create environmental concerns.

“Carried away by waterways and the wind, this waste affects natural environments. In addition, disposable tableware has an environmental impact during its production and disposal, which is disproportionate to its single use and short duration,” Geneva authorities said.


April 15th:  Zurich Sechseläuten

While not a public holiday, many businesses, offices, and banks close for the day, so that Zurich residents can celebrate this ancient spring festival that occurs every year on the third Monday of April. This means that this year it falls on April 15th, and allows for a long weekend of fun and festivities.

This article explains what this holiday is all about:

READ ALSO: Why do people in Zurich burn a huge snowman every April?

April 22nd : Earth Day

In Switzerland, as elsewhere, April 22nd marks the Earth Day, the world's largest environmental movement.

This year’s theme is 'Planet vs. Plastics', which calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, and rapidly phase out all single-use plastics.

Various towns around the country, including schools and universities, will hold earth-related events for people of all ages.

Check your community’s calendar to find out what is planned for your area.


Throughout April: Skiing at most Swiss resorts comes to an end

While low resorts have already shut down, many lying at higher attitudes will close for the summer in April (though a few remain open in May).

This site lists all the April closings. 

Also: Look out for strikes

Given the frequency of industrial actions throughout Europe, it is always smart to check out the situation if you are planning to travel abroad during April.

For instance, train strikes are planned in the UK on April 6th and 8th. 

You can keep abreast of all planned walkouts through this site, which is updated as new actions are announced. 

Last but not least: Don’t be an April’s Fool!

Be on your guard on this day, because some people still believe in perpetrating tricks.

This is a good time to recall one that went down in Switzerland’s history:

READ ALSO: The most successful April Fools' Day prank of all time 


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