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

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The number of coronavirus infections increases significantly

From March 15th to 21st, a total of 10,481 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported, up from 8,803 the week before — an increase of over 19 percent, according to the weekly report from the Federal Office of Public Health.

The proportion of virus mutations was 85 percent in the 4,135 samples analysed. The British variant was by far the most frequent.

The incidence of laboratory-confirmed cases in the cantons ranged from 37 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week in Appenzell Innerrhodes to 202 in Uri.

The infection rates continued to go up this week, in what some health experts believe could signal the third wave of the pandemic.

Swiss cities to join symbolic lights-out event

Twelve towns in Switzerland will join cities around the world in dimming lights on their monuments to celebrate Earth Hour, an annual event that brings attention to climate and environmental crisis.

Monuments and other landmarks will go dark on Saturday between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm in the following cities: Baden (AG), Bulle (FR), Ennetbaden (AG), Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Lenzburg (AG), Le Locle (NE), Montreux (VD), Neuchâtel, Rapperswil-Jona (SG), and Uster (ZH)

The Swiss are in favour of giving more rights to foreigners

Switzerland’s population supports more rights for foreign nationals living in the country, in particular the right to family reunification, according to a new study by the Federal Statistical Office.

 More than two-thirds of study participants said that non-nationals are essential for Swiss economy.

However, a third of the respondents said they feel uncomfortable in the presence of foreigners, the study found.

The Local will publish an article on this topic today.

READ MORE:  Where do Switzerland’s foreigners all live?

Swiss town may switch cantons

On Sunday, residents of Moutier will cast their votes again on whether to remain in the predominantly German-speaking canton Bern or to join the neighbouring canton of Jura, which is French-speaking.

The town of just 7,700 people already voted in 2017 to become part of Jura but the results were nullified amid suspicions of voter fraud.

As the issue is controversial and emotional for many locals, municipal authorities are calling on residents to stay calm after the vote results are announced.

To avoid conflict on Sunday between the pro-Bernese and pro-Jura factions, officials have set up two separate areas on opposite sides of town and are calling on each group to “respect this division of the city and not cross the dividing line”.

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