Swiss living expenses surge, recreational cannabis trials begin and more in our roundup of Swiss news from April 29 – May 3.
Switzerland opens to all travelers
Visitors from all countries – regardless of COVID-19 vaccine or recovery status – are welcome again in Switzerland. The country’s State Secretariat for Migration this week dropped all its travel measures that were put in place during the pandemic, leaving only “the usual rules” such as providing a valid visa or passport. Read more.
Recreational cannabis trial to begin
Swiss authorities this week approved of a pilot project in Basel to study the effects of recreational cannabis use. Officials from the Federal Office of Public Health said the study will look at “alternative regulatory forms,” such as selling cannabis products through official vendors to undercut the current black market for cannabis and marijuana. The pilot, run by the local government and Basel University, will launch this summer. Residents of Basel who already use cannabis and who are 18 years of age and older are invited to apply. The pilot will accept 400 participants who will be allowed to buy cannabis through pharmacies and be studied by researchers. Buying and selling cannabis is currently illegal in Switzerland. Advocates of legalizing cannabis use say the pilot project is one step closer to that goal. Read more.
It’s even more expensive to live in the most expensive country
Although inflation is driving up the cost of living in Switzerland, salaries do not yet reflect that, according to a new report from the Economic Research Center (KOF). Their research found that living expenses increased by 2.4% from March 2021 to March 2022. Moreover, inflation is at its highest since 2008. However, wages are not growing in tandem and employers project that they will increase salaries by only 1.6% in the next year. In good news, researchers found that Switzerland’s economy is stable and growing in 2022. Read more.