Israel tightened restrictions because of rising numbers
In view of the sharp rise in the number of corona infections, Israel is expanding the application of the so-called green passport to almost all areas of public life. All persons aged three and over must show a certificate stating that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative, as the Corona cabinet decided on Wednesday evening. This applies, among other things, to sports and cultural events as well as fitness studios, restaurants and conferences. The regulation will apply from next Wednesday.
Events in closed rooms without seats may only be attended by up to 1000 people, outdoors by up to 5000 people. Private events are limited to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.
The number of infections in Israel has increased significantly since the beginning of June. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reported 5,755 new infected people for the previous day. On Monday there were more than 6000 infections in one day for the first time in six months. At the same time, according to the ministry, the number of seriously ill corona patients rose to 400 – the first time since the end of March.
California mandates vaccination or testing for teachers
The US state of California requires teachers and school staff to have corona vaccinations or regular tests. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the new editions on Wednesday. Accordingly, the more than 300,000 teachers and employees at schools either have to provide proof of vaccination or undergo weekly tests.
California, the most populous state in the United States, is the first state in the United States to require this for the upcoming school year.
California also recently decided that all West Coast state employees and medical personnel there either need to show proof of vaccination or have regular tests.
Returning vacationers take coronavirus home
Corona dragged along from the holidays: In many places, the number of those who specify their holiday destination as the place of infection is increasing. This is shown by a look at the most populous cantons, namely from 27 percent in Bern to 70 percent in St. Gallen. That is why the Swiss authorities are calling for you to be tested after your return home. However, the willingness to test is declining. Nevertheless, the federal government will continue to bear the costs of regular tests in companies and schools.
Zurich Airport continues to suffer from the corona crisis
The number of passengers at Zurich Airport has improved significantly. In July 2021, almost twice as many people, namely 1,365 million, traveled via Switzerland’s largest airport than last July. But compared to before the crisis, it was still more than half less.
According to a statement from the airport, the number of passengers increased significantly with the summer vacation. On peak days, over 65,000 travelers flew over Zurich Airport. Almost 321,000 people were transfer passengers, which corresponds to a share of 23.6 percent. In addition, 31,701 tons of freight were handled at Zurich Airport in July, an increase of 47 percent compared to the same month last year.
US agency recommends vaccination for pregnant women
The US disease control agency CDC also recommends the corona vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women. This also applies to women who want to become pregnant soon. New data from a study showed that vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer / Biontech did not increase the risk of miscarriage before pregnancy or in the first 20 weeks, the agency said.
The vaccinations are “safe and effective” and, given the particularly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, urgently recommended, said CDC boss Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday. “Taken together, these data and the known serious risks of Covid disease during pregnancy show that the benefits of a Covid 19 vaccination for pregnant women are greater than any known or possible risks,” it continues.
How long were you not allowed to leave the house?
For how many weeks did which measures apply in the European capitals? For example, the Bernese were always allowed to leave the house, while the people in Rome were given a curfew for around 43 weeks. During this time, they were not allowed to leave their home at all or only for a limited time. The Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) compared Bern with Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Rome, London and Stockholm for the period from January 2020 to July 25, 2021.
Federal Council measures: SVP criticizes “dictatorial regime”
The intention of the Federal Council to make the antigen tests chargeable is welcomed by the FDP. The party demanded that on July 23, she wrote on Twitter. Now everyone has to take their responsibility seriously so that a quick return to normalcy is possible.
Criticism, however, comes from the SVP and the trade association. “The Federal Council and above all Interior Minister Alain Berset are sticking to their dictatorial regime,” protests the SVP on Twitter. The party condemned “this delaying tactic” in the strongest possible terms and demanded an immediate return to normalcy. The Swiss Trade Association also criticizes “the refusal of the Federal Council to initiate the process of normalization,” as he also writes on Twitter. The logic of targeted protection laid down by law and accepted by the people makes a return to the normal situation from September 1st absolutely possible.
The trade union umbrella organization Travailsuisse assesses the current corona situation as fragile and therefore supports the decision of the Federal Council to leave the start of the normalization phase open. On the other hand, Travailsuisse criticizes the decision to no longer assume the test costs.
“We demand that we soon return to normal,” Casimir Platzer, President of Gastrosuisse, is quoted in a statement. “Anything else would be incomprehensible.”
Cantons show understanding for federal corona measures
The health directors of the cantons agree to the maintenance of the current corona measures presented by the state government. The fact that the Federal Council has decided to transition to the normalization phase without any additional relaxation is understandable, writes the Swiss Conference of Health Directors (GDK) in a statement.
With the exception of the number of reproductions, the benchmarks set by the Federal Council for tightening in the stabilization phase would not be exceeded. Due to the uncertainties regarding the effects of holiday return trips, the start of school and the effects of the delta variant, it is too early to lift the few remaining measures, writes the GDK.
Media conference ended
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Moderna invests in mRNA research, is Switzerland moving with it?
The pharmaceutical company Moderna is investing in research and working closely with other countries, according to a journalist. Will Switzerland go along with that? Berset replies somewhat evasively that they are in constant contact with Moderna. Especially because the company also produces in Switzerland. But it also needs a certain number of contacts. You can’t just rely on one company. And they don’t want to compete with companies in research – but they do work together.
Free tests are not a tried and tested means, aren’t they?
A few months ago, the Federal Council sold the free tests as a tried and tested tool in the pandemic, notes a journalist. Now they no longer want to offer this for free. How does that fit together? “At that time we had no alternative, we had no vaccination,” says Berset. In this situation at the time, the tests would have been useful. The current situation is different, hence the proposal with the free tests.
When does the upper limit for private events fall?
There are still relatively strict measures in place when it comes to the number of participants in private events. A journalist asks if this will soon be softened. This measure may have been lost in the discussion. But: “We’re looking at it,” announces Berset.
Is the federal government now saving a lot of money?
According to Berset, he could not precisely quantify the savings potential in the tests, which will have to be paid for himself in the future. But there is a lot of money involved. The costs for the tests, which the federal government has borne so far, would amount to hundreds of millions.
What do you think of the repetitive tests, Mr Berset?
Nathalie Christen would like to know more about repetitive tests from Alain Berset. “These tests are a good thing. But the cantons have to decide how they want to deal with the whole thing. ” It remains important that it works. “The cantons can do it.”
Why should we vaccinate if we are infected anyway?
A journalist points to high numbers in Israel and Iceland despite high vaccination rates. Berset says it is therefore important that the vaccination coverage is high enough. This is the most important thing that can be done to prevent another severe wave and, above all, severe cases. But a vaccination is not a fully comprehensive insurance, that is clear, says Berset. “The higher the vaccination rate, the more relaxed we can be,” adds Mathys.
At the moment, however, the vaccination rate in Switzerland is definitely too low to be able to do without measures.
How many people can the vaccination still reach?
How many people can the vaccination still reach? This is what a journalist asks. “I can give you an example: In the 50 to 60 year old category, we only have a vaccination rate of around 70 percent. We still have a lot of potential here. Especially since this age category can be severely affected by the virus. “
Is there an extension of the certificate?
At the moment you have minimal measures. It now depends on how the pandemic develops. However, a possible overloading of the hospitals will be avoided at all costs, and a possible expansion of the certificate will also play a role in this. One will react in good time, so Berset.
But and now there is another appeal that the pandemic will certainly not go away on its own. And those unwilling to vaccinate would risk infection. There will continue to be hospitalizations and deaths.
Councilors not vaccinated. Justifiable?
A journalist notes that several government councilors appear to have not been vaccinated. Is that justifiable? «You have to be careful here. You don’t know the motivations of the individual. ” You have to be careful with the blame, explains the health minister.
Have tightenings been discussed in the Federal Council?
A journalist wants to know whether tightening was also an issue. No, so Berset. “Stricter measures were not specifically up for discussion.” The criteria for this would also not be met at all.
Are there any changes to the parties?
The rules for the exit will not change for the time being, so Berset. Means: Tests will still be enough for access to the discos and concerts.
Due to the high number of infections in the exit, there is sometimes a discussion abroad about only admitting people who have been vaccinated or recovered to the localities. One will have to see how this discussion develops, Berset added.