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

Could one of these breads contain pesticides? Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash
Could one of these breads contain pesticides? Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Almost 300,000 Covid cases recorded during the holidays

Omicron wreaked havoc in Switzerland during the Christmas-New Year period, with 112,445 people testing positive between December 27th and January 2nd.

The following week, even more cases were detected – 180,562 in total.

Overall, a 60.6 percent increase in infections has been reported in the last two weeks alone.

READ MORE: Covid hotspots: ‘More hospitalisations’ predicted for Switzerland’s as cases increase 

Some bread sold in Switzerland contains harmful pesticides

A laboratory analysis revealed that five types of breads sold by major Swiss retailers contain traces of pesticides.

Out of 28 breads found at Aldi, Coop, Lidl and Migros, five contain residues of potentially toxic chemicals, according to a consumer report by RTS public broadcaster.

However, the quantities of these additives found in breads are too low to be harmful to health.

“A 70-kilogram person could eat 700 slices of bread containing small amount of these substances every day without risk”, toxicologist Nicolas Roth told RTS.

This table (in French) indicates, in orange on the upper right side, the breads where traces of chemicals were discovered.

Five out of 28 breads contain traces of pesticides. Image: RTS

Regional trains come to the aid of Léman Express

Léman Express, the train commonly used by cross-border workers commuting from France to their jobs in the Geneva area, had cut some of its services because a number of its staff members are in quarantine.

However, to fill the gap, the double-decker RegioExpress will stop at additional stations between Geneva’s Cornavin and the French town Annemasse.

Since last weekend, only half of the Léman Express trains have been traveling between Coppet (VD) and Annemasse, reducing its service to one train per half hour and per direction, instead of the usual frequency of one every 15 minutes.

From next week, however, RegioExpress will pick up the slack, fetching and dropping off passengers at small stations where it usually doesn’t stop, including Chêne-Bourg, Genève-Champel and Lancy-Bachet.

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

Swiss emigrants more likely to return to their country

A new migration study from the Federal statistical Office (OFS) shows a link between the return rate and place of birth and nationality.

“People born in Switzerland are more inclined to return home than those born abroad”, the study found.

Of the Swiss who left the country in 2011, half were back in 2020 and  two-thirds within three years of departure. Among people of foreign nationality, the rate of return was much lower — 17 percent.

More Swiss than foreigners return home. Image: OFS

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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