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Swiss see in the New Year

Zurich new years
Zurich's Grossmünster church is illuminated during the Silvesterzauber light show by artist Gerry Hofstetter Keystone / Michael Buholzer

The Swiss have been celebrating the New Year, as the coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over the country. Police said the night had been a relatively calm one.

Zurich city police force said that the night into 2022 had been similar to any other weekend night in terms of interventions. Other cantons also reported calmer nights, although small fires caused by fireworks were put out in some places. In previous years, rowdy New Year’s revellers had caused more interventions, particularly in towns and cities, the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA noted.

On Friday, the Swiss government (Federal Council) decided not to update the current Covid-19 health measures in place. Covid infections reached all-time high of 19,032 new cases the previous day.

PLACEHOLDER

On December 17th, the government announced that only people who have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 were able to go inside restaurants, cultural, sporting and leisure venues and attend indoor events.  It also reinstated home-office and limited the number of people attending private gatherings.

This meant clubs and restaurants were open for New Year’s Eve, under restrictions, although many people also celebrated at home or in small groups.

Lights, fireworks

It was still possible to attend various events around the country.  In Zurich, a Silvesterzauber light show by artist Gerry Hofstetter illuminated various buildings in the city centre (see main picture). The show replaced the traditional fireworks which were cancelled by the organisers for the second time in a row due to the pandemic.

In Geneva, people could watch the Borealis sound and light show by Swiss artist Dan Acher called Borealis, the performances of which were held under Covid restrictions.

Geneva new year
The sound and light show in Geneva in the parc des Bastions Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

Even if many large displays were cancelled, fireworks could be enjoyed in many places.

alp
Fireworks in the snow at the Alpine resort of Zinal Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

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