Switzerland gets tougher on coronavirus restrictions
As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise across Switzerland, new, stricter measures are being introduced to help slow the spread of the virus. On October 14, the number of new Covid-19 cases from across Switzerland confirmed in the previous 24 hours was 2,823 and the number of tests taken was 20,704. There were 57 hospitalisations during that time and eight deaths. Zurich responded by tightening its rules around face masks. Indoor events of more than 30 people now require everyone to wear a mask if social distancing isn’t possible, and service staff must also now wear face coverings as well. Masks also need to be worn in clubs, bars and restaurants which aren’t sit-down-only. Zurich Mayor Corine Mauch and city councillor Andreas Hauri addressed the rising case numbers in a video message posted on Zurich City Council’s Facebook page. In the video, Mauch asked residents to keep following safety and hygiene rules to prevent “very drastic measures” being imposed again. In Geneva, public events (including meeting at outside spaces, such as parks) are now limited to 15 people (gatherings of more than 15 people need a permit to take place) and private events can have 100 people at most, with masks needing to be worn. School trips that include overnight stays have also been cancelled at Geneva schools. Additionally, face masks are compulsory in indoor public spaces around Geneva.
Christmas across Switzerland is already looking like a very different picture in 2020.
Lindt has opened the world’s largest chocolate museum in Zurich, complete with the largest chocolate fountain
Sweet tooth? You’ll be in sugary heaven at the largest chocolate museum in the world
38 seconds may not seem like a long time, but when it costs you CHF130, every one of those 38 seconds counts for a lot more, as one SBB passenger found out recently. As reported in 20 Minuten, last week a 20-year-old woman in Zurich purchased a ticket for the 7.33pm train from Meilen to Winterthur using the SBB app. The train was running a little late, and after boarding, the passenger received a rather unpleasant surprise when she was hit with a CHF130 fine by a ticket inspector. Why? Because her app ticket showed that it had been purchased at 7.33.38pm – a whole 38 seconds after the train’s scheduled departure time, making it invalid in the ticket inspector’s mind. The passenger claims that a dodgy internet connection caused the delay in the ticket being issued by the app, and after complaining the following day at an SBB counter, her fine was reduced by CHF100. But, according to 20 Minuten, the passenger still isn’t too happy about the whole thing, It’s a head-scratcher, for sure. And it’s provoked some surprisingly heated debate on an English-speaking Swiss forum, mostly centred around exactly what the ticket-buying rules do and don’t allow. And that’s without getting into the metaphysical conundrums posed by the situation: had the woman somehow bent the rules of time and space to purchase a ticket for a non-existent journey? Or did a malevolent strain of AI cause the app to override its boundaries and issue her with a fraudulent ticket because it knew she would be fined? Which leads us to ask: is this where the machines finally rise up and take over? And if they did, could it really be much worse than 2020 so far? It’s another head-scratcher. Maybe just remember to buy your train ticket in plenty of time before your next journey, just to get the drop on those pesky machines. Looking for things to do in Zurich that don’t cost CHF130? Check our guide to the very best bits of the city.
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The best Swiss art galleries and museums
Whether you like your art ancient or modern, classical or contemporary, applied or outsider, there is an eye-popping array of world-class Swiss art galleries and museums. From the Paul Klee and Vitra Design museums to prestigious events like Art Basel, the Swiss art scene is vibrant. With both a collecting culture that stretches back centuries and the planet’s most important annual contemporary fair, Basel city has traditionally been the Swiss scene’s Chanel-clad grand dame, snapping up Warhols and Bacons for her Rhine-side apartment. But worldly Zürich has hit a bold new stride in the last decade, with the immaculate regeneration of the city’s former industrial zone serving up a bevy of cool white cubes where cutting-edge contemporary art from every end of the Earth is making itself right at home. Nor are Geneva and Bern art slouches. Their venerable palaces of painting and plastic arts have long earned their global reputations, and each city also has its own flourishing crop of temples to the contemporary, both civic and indie. And the national art appetite keeps on growing. While Renzo Piano hasn’t been called upon just yet to turn the spectacular Fondation Beyeler he built in Basel and Bern’s Zentrum Paul Klee into a megamuseum hat-trick, major institutions are adding new extensions and taking over bigger buildings, while art spaces are breathing vital new life into urban industrial edifices.
The ten best book venues around Switzerland
In these digital times, real, beautifully designed books have become badges of authenticity that people seek out, share and celebrate. From mammoth chain stores rammed with the latest English-language titles to quirky independents perfect for an afternoon’s browsing and architecturally amazing archives to humble literary retreats, here’s our pick of the best stores, sights and hangouts across the country for fans of the printed word