6 things expats in Switzerland need to know about in April 2022

6 things expats in Switzerland need to know about in April 2022

April is just around the corner, which means a new month of changing rules, regulations and seasons. From the end of COVID restrictions to e-bikes and spring flowers, here are six major changes coming to Switzerland in April 2022.

1. The end of COVID restrictions in Switzerland

In March 2022, Switzerland commemorated the second anniversary of the first restrictions being imposed to deal with a brand new, hitherto unknown, virus. More than two years after the first shutdown, Switzerland is set to say goodbye to its final COVID rules on April 1.

The Federal Council announced that COVID rules will be gone by the end of March “if the epidemiological situation evolves as expected.” Medical experts have advised caution in recent weeks, as the number of cases continues to rise

If the full reopening goes ahead, it will mean that masks will no longer be mandatory in hospitals and public transport, and the COVID isolation requirement will also be abolished. The government has until March 31 to announce any “hybrid” system of COVID restrictions. Until then, it can be assumed that Switzerland is set to part from restrictions for the time being.

2. Switzerland says goodbye to COVID app

Along with COVID restrictions, the SwissCovid app will also be deactivated from April 1. The app is designed to trace the close contacts of positive cases by passively monitoring interactions through your phone.

Now, as close contact and self-isolation rules come to end, so too does the app’s usefulness. At its peak, SwissCovid had 2 million active users, which had a profound impact on case numbers and helped save lives, according to experts.

Bear in mind that the Swiss Covid Cert app will still be available and will still generate COVID certificates for use in travel.

3. Oxo plastics to be banned in Switzerland

The beginning of April will also see the banning of so-called Oxo plastics. This type of plastic is designed to deteriorate rapidly when exposed to heat and sunlight, forming into micro-plastics.

Micro-plastics have been described as one of the most pressing threats to marine life, with over 24,4 trillion pieces in the world's oceans already. Switzerland’s decision to ban Oxo plastics aligns the country with the European Union, which has already made them illegal.

4. E-bikes must keep their lights on from April 1

E-bikers across Switzerland take note: as of April 1, you will be joining drivers in Switzerland in having to keep your lights on permanently. Anyone found to have their lights switched off will be subject to a fine from the police.

The move is designed to improve road safety, as e-bikers are capable of much higher speeds than regular cyclists. The federal government has said that this move is the start of new regulations designed to improve road safety for those on two wheels.

5. First ski resorts in Switzerland to close

The unseasonably hot weather that Switzerland has been experiencing has dealt a deadly blow to ski resorts. Now, many resorts will be coming to the end of their season, much to the dismay of adrenaline junkies.

First (Canton Bern), Madrisa (Canton Graubunden) and Evolène (Canton Valais) are some of the first to close. As the weather continues to heat up, skiers and snowboarders will have to pack away their gear in preparation for the next winter season.

6. The start of spring and the end of winter tyres

And finally, April will bring the first signs of spring to Switzerland. Alongside stunning alpine flowers, the mountains and valleys of Switzerland will turn from white and grey to green and blue, as the snow melts into Swiss lakes and the blooms begin to emerge.

April is also the time to start thinking about changing from winter to summer tyres. While there is no rule enforcing when to switch from one tyre to the other, the typical advice for motorists in Switzerland is to have winter tyres on "from October to Easter."

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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