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

Swiss ski resorts are profiting from Austrian lockdown

Switzerland’s mountain resorts in many regions are reporting a high level of bookings for the holiday season, attributing the rush to the lockdown in neighbouring Austria.

As Austrian slopes are closed for the time being, skiers from that country are crossing the border into Switzerland.

Several Swiss resorts  have confirmed this new trend.

“We are feeling the effects of the lockdown in Austria with more bookings from guests who normally spend their ski holidays in their country”, according to Sabrina Marcolin from Zermatt Tourism.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Everything tourists should know about skiing in Switzerland

Austrians are hitting the slopes in Zermatt. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Zurich and Swiss Re insurers close the doors to unvaccinated employees

Switzerland’s two largest insurance companies have stepped up their measures to fight the coronavirus.

Both now demand compliance with the 3G rule (vaccinated, cured, tested) in their Swiss offices by deactivating “as a preventive measure” the access badges of their unvaccinated employees.

Those who don’t fit the criteria set by the 3G rule must work from home.

The two insurance companies join other large Swiss employers, Roche and Novartis, who already have the same regulations in place: only those who are vaccinated, recovered or tested are allowed on the premises.

Do you think rumantsch?

If the answer to this question is “gea” (yes), the good news is that you can apply for naturalisation.

One of the main rules for obtaining a Swiss citizenship is knowledge of a national language.  People usually take it to mean German, French or Italian (depending on the region where they live), but disregard Romansh, even though it is an official language as well.

However, it is now possible to apply and take the citizenship test in Romansh, according to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

Not only that, but all the local variations of the language are allowed — sursilvan, sutsilvan surmiran, puter, vallader and rumantsch grischun.

The exams in any of the above forms will take place twice a year in Chur, the capital of Graubünden, the only canton where Romansh is still spoken by an estimated 40,000 people.

READ MORE: How did Switzerland become a country with four languages?

Hear this: The ranking of noisiest Swiss cities is published

A new analysis by the Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) ranked the noisiest cities in Switzerland.

The winner  — or loser, depending on how you look at it — is Geneva, whose residents are exposed to more than 60 decibels of noise. This corresponds to the volume of a lawn mower at a distance of 10 metres that can be heard even when the apartment windows are closed.

And 94 percent of Geneva’s residences are exposed to a noise level greater than 50 decibels.

In second place of noisiness is Lugano, followed by Lausanne, Zurich, Basel and Biel.

Aarau, Winterthur and Bern, on the other hand, are the quietest locations, according to ZKB analysis.

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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