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World Switzerland to vote on whether to keep Covid restrictions as cases surge

07:40  28 november  2021
07:40  28 november  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Germany, With Higher Vaccination Rate Than U.S., Sees Biggest Ever Surge in COVID Cases

  Germany, With Higher Vaccination Rate Than U.S., Sees Biggest Ever Surge in COVID Cases Thursday marked the first time Germany reported more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. Merkel, the outgoing German chancellor, said the "dramatic" situation was the result of the fourth wave "hitting our country with full force."Although Germany's vaccination rate surpasses that of the U.S., which is currently 58.9 percent per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe.

People in Switzerland will vote on Sunday on the government's health measures against Covid-19, in the wake of a large increase in new cases this month.

A protester attends a rally against coronavirus measures, the Covid-19 health pass and vaccination in Geneva on October 9, 2021. © Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images A protester attends a rally against coronavirus measures, the Covid-19 health pass and vaccination in Geneva on October 9, 2021.

Voters will have their say on the modifications of a previous Covid law, which were adopted by the Swiss Parliament last March. According to a document from the Federal Council (Switzerland's federal government), the Parliament changed the law to "extend financial aid to people who could not be supported before or not enough," as well as "to improve the tracing of contact cases and increase testing capacity."

Protests against Covid rules and lockdowns erupt across Europe

  Protests against Covid rules and lockdowns erupt across Europe Protests against fresh Covid restrictions have continued to rock Europe over the weekend. There were demonstrations in Vienna, Brussels and Amsterdam against new Covid rules. Fresh coronavirus cases continue to surge across the continent. © Provided by CNBC A demonstrator lights a smoke bomb during a rally held by Austria's far-right Freedom Party FPOe against the measures taken to curb the Covid pandemic, at Maria Theresien Platz square in Vienna, Austria on November 20, 2021.

It also enacted the legal basis for the introduction of the "Covid certificate" -- or health pass -- "to facilitate travel abroad and to allow the holding of certain events," according to the Federal Council.

Opponents believe that existing laws are "sufficient to protect the Swiss from Covid-19 or other infectious diseases," according to the LoiCovid-Non committee, which includes several groups opposing the law. They also argue that the Covid law discriminates against the unvaccinated and would lead to an "unprecedented divide in Swiss society."

Last month, a spokeswoman for the Friends of the Constitution committee, part of LoiCovid-Non, referred to Switzerland's health pass as a "health apartheid." The certificate establishes an obligation to get vaccinated, since the tests are now paid for, Cailler argued. "We are trying to coerce the population through their wallet," she said.

Europe's Christmas markets warily open as COVID cases rise

  Europe's Christmas markets warily open as COVID cases rise FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic. But a surge in coronavirus infections has left an uneasy feeling hanging over Frankfurt's Christmas market. To savor a mug of mulled wine — a pleasurable rite of winter in pre-pandemic times — masked customers must pass through a one-way entrance to a fenced-off wine hut, stopping at the hand sanitizer station.

Though most Swiss political movements still support the law, populist right-wing Swiss People's party (UDC), the country's first political force, has expressed its support for the "No" campaign in the referendum.

The latest wave has hit Switzerland hard with a seven-day rolling average of over daily 5,000 cases this past week in a population of 8 million. According to the Swiss government's Covid platform, 75,843 new cases had been detected in the country over the past 14 days as of Thursday, a number approaching last year's peak of infections.

This is the second time in less than six months that the Swiss have had to vote on health measures. In June, citizens supported the 2020 Covid law with 60.2% of the vote in a first referendum.

Navigating the pandemic and its legal updates has been a challenge for the Confederation's system of direct democracy, in which all decisions taken at the federal, cantonal or municipal level can later be questioned by voters.

As is usually the case, three laws will be put to the vote on Sunday: the Covid law, an initiative "for strong nursing care" and an initiative on how federal judges are selected.

Elected Officials Call Out the Unvaccinated as Main Catalyst for Rise in COVID Cases .
President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House that "the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated."During a White House COVID-19 briefing last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that COVID-19 is "becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

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