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Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

This simple pleasure will cost more because of bad weather and poor harvest. Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash
This simple pleasure will cost more because of bad weather and poor harvest. Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Number of people in quarantine is growing rapidly

As at Monday January 10th, 106,795 people were in isolation in Switzerland after being tested positive to Covid, and 38,886 were in preventive quarantine, according to the Federal Office of Public Health.

This means that almost 146,000 individuals are in confinement, a nearly 50-percent increase over last week’s figure, and numbers are expected to soar as Omicron continues to spread through the country.

Many of Switzerland’s critical industries are now suffering serious staff shortages, as an increasing number of health experts and businesses are calling for cutting the preventive quarantine to five days or scrapping it altogether to ensure that essential sectors keep functioning.

READ MORE: How Switzerland wants to prevent an Omicron shutdown

A cross-border train reduces service again

Léman Express, the train commonly used by cross-border workers commuting from France to their jobs in the Geneva area, is once again cutting some of its services due to staff absences.

Lines L2 and L4 are between Coppet (VD) and Annemasse (F) are suspended until January 25th.

The trains will continue to operate between the two stations at the rate of one train every half an hour instead of every 15 minutes, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) announced.

This reduction in the schedule aims in particular to avoid last-minute train cuts due to sick leave, SBB said.

Léman Express train in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

READ MORE: Why Swiss trains are less punctual — and what is being done about it

Certain food prices to go up due to poor harvests

In 2021, harvests around the world suffered from disastrous weather events. The fruits were hit by hail, and the vegetables rotted in the waterlogged soil.

In Switzerland, the first price increases are already being felt. Industry association for coffee shops Cafetiersuisse said customers will have to pay between 5 and 10 percent more for a cup of java.

The raw materials needed to make bread, such as flour and wheat, have also become more expensive, according to the Federal Office of Agriculture.

Prices for baked are therefore increasing by 15 percent, mainly due to “devastating harvests”.

READ MORE: How the cost of living will change in Switzerland in 2022

Over 2,000 people sanctioned for lacking Covid test results

Not having a negative test result or properly filled out entry form when arriving in Switzerland can cost you money.

From September 20th, 2021 to January 9th, 2022, 1,070 fines were given out to those without a negative test at Swiss borders, and 1,393 for not having completed the required arrival form, according to Donatella Del Vecchio, spokesperson for French-speaking Switzerland of the Federal Office of Customs and Border Security (OFDF).

OFDF agents are stationed at border crossings and carry out random checks, based on the risks and the situation in the different modes of transport (road, rail and air).  

These statistics don’t include Zurich airport, where the cantonal police are responsibly for carrying out checks.

The amount of fines slapped on rule-breakers was not released.

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]


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