For members


Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2023

From rent increases to an outdoor smoking ban in Geneva, these are the events that are planned in Switzerland in June 2023.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in June 2023
Will the upcoming summer be as hot as in 2022? Photo: Galvão Menacho on Pexels

June 1st: many rents to rise sharply 

With the benchmark mortgage rate rising on June 1st many landlords will be able to increase rents.

The benchmark mortgage rate increases to 1.50 percent, which means landlords will be able to raise rents by 3 percent. the government said.

Currently, 54 percent of rental contracts in Switzerland are based on that rate, but regionally, the percentage is even higher.

In the Zurich area, for instance, as well as in central Switzerland more than 60 percent of rental contracts are based on a 1.25-percent reference rate.

READ ALSO: How do you know if your Swiss rent is too high — and how can you challenge it?

June 1st: No outdoor smoking in Geneva

In order to “provide a healthy environment,” smoking will be prohibited in certain outdoor spaces in Geneva from June 1st, the canton announced.

The new regulation forbids smoking within nine metres around playgrounds and schools.

The same smoke-free distance will apply to outdoor swimming pools, and outdoor spaces of bars and restaurants.

Smoking will also not be allowed at public transport stops, including in waiting areas.

READ ALSO: Geneva bans smoking in some outdoor areas

June 12th: Swiss air traffic to experience disruptions

NATO will be conducting extensive air force exercises from June 12th to 24th.

While these manoeuvres will take place on the German air space, the proximity to Switzerland means restrictions could be placed  on flights to and from Zurich airport.

This could result in flight delays and even cancellations. 

NATO planes over Germany will impact Swiss air traffic. Photo by THOMAS COEX / AFP

June 14th: Feminist strike

As part of a global movement, women across the country will march to highlight the gender bias that is widespread in Switzerland, especially regarding work and childcare conditions.

They will campaign for fewer working hours at the same pay; abolition of the three-pillar pension system in favour of a single pillar; paid parental leave of at least one year, as well as other demands detailed here

This annual event began in 2017, with women in various countries, including Switzerland, rallying for equal pay, as well as other gender and trans-gender rights.

Women will demonstrate throughout Switzerland on June 14th. Photo by Lou BENOIST / AFP

June 18th: Referendums

In the first of three referendums scheduled for 2023, the Swiss will cast their votes on three issues.

The first one is Covid Law. Even though the last health measures were lifted more than a year ago, voters will have to decide on various federal provisions  — especially pertaining to border measures in the event of a pandemic, the protection of vulnerable people, and the promotion and development of treatments for the coronavirus.

The second issue is related to climate, particularly the target of zero greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland by 2050, thanks to funding of 2 billion over 10 years for the replacement of fossil fuels. 

The third issue Swiss voters will have to weigh in on is that of taxation of international companies.

Negotiated by nearly 140 countries around the world, the reform of the tax on profits of multinationals aims to establish a minimum rate of 15 percent on international corporations — higher than Switzerland’s current tax rate.

The Local will explain each of these issues in detail.

June 21st: First day of summer

The (mostly rainy and cool) spring will give way to the summer season.

Meteorologists don’t yet have an accurate forecast for the next months, but those who still remember the extreme, drought-causing heatwave of 2022 are hoping this summer will be more pleasant, weather-wise.

There are the public holidays in June in your canton:

  • 8th: Corpus Christi, national except AR, BL, BS, BE, GE, GL, NE, SH, SG, TG, VD, ZH
  • 23rd:  Independence of Jura, JU
  • 29th:  St Peter and St Paul,  GR, TI

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For members


Everything that changes in Switzerland in October 2023

Higher rents, higher health insurance premiums — and other changes you can expect in Switzerland in the month of October.

Everything that changes in Switzerland in October 2023

October 1st: Rents increase

From this day, about 1 million Swiss households — all those whose leases are based on the reference rate — will be hit with a 5-percent rent hike.

After the Federal Housing Administration raised reference rates to 1.50 percent from June 3rd, another hike — this time to 1.75 percent — by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) was announced later that month

Why do rents go up as of October 1st?

The hike was announced in June,  but your  landlord  can only up the rent once a year — either on the specific date mentioned in the lease, or the next possible termination / notice date.

The notice period in Switzerland is typically three months, which means landlords will be able to charge the higher rate from October 2023.

READ ALSO : When can my landlord legally increase the rent? 

October 1st: Energy-saving measures to go into effect — again

Even though Switzerland has not been hit by energy shortage last winter, as many feared, the Federal Council is again calling on the population to cut energy consumption by 15 percent between October 1st and March 31st, 2024.

While it has not yet issued specific recommendations, it is likely they will be the same as those  set for this year

October 1st : Being a good driver will pay off

From: October 1st, new amendments to the road traffic law will come into force, which will be more lenient towards most drivers.

These amendments will concern in particular sanctions applicable to driving offences, the withdrawal of a probationary driving license, as well as the facilities granted to emergency services.

In the event of a minor infraction, the holder of a probationary driving license will not have their probationary period extended and their driving license will no longer be canceled.

From now on, “the probationary period will only be extended in the event of a moderately serious or serious offence, and the driving license on trial will become void if a new moderately serious or serious offence is committed during the probationary period,” the Federal Council said.

Mid-October: Restart of Covid vaccinations

With the emergence of new coronavirus variants, and the number of infections expected to increase in fall and winter, Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) will start vaccinating at-risk people in the middle of October.

This group incudes those over 65, and others “with individual health risks because of a pre-existing condition,” health authorities said.

The government ordered 1.3 million vaccine doses from each of manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer. In addition, a delivery from Novavax is also expected.

READ ALSO: Switzerland’s Covid vaccine programme to restart in autumn

Throughout October: autumn school holidays

The autumn school break in most Swiss cantons falls some time in October, and lasts either one or two weeks, depending on canton.

This calendar shows when public schools will be off, and for how long, in each canton. 

October 22nd: Federal elections

On this day, the Swiss will elect 246 members of their Federal Assembly — that is, the higher and lower chamber of the parliament.

As is the case every four years, they will be voting for candidates to the National Council (the lower house of the federal parliament) and the Council of States (the higher chamber).

The National Council  is composed of  200 people; the number of representatives sent by each canton depends on the size of its population.

The Council of States, on the other hand, represents the cantons and comprises 46 members, who, like their National Council counterparts, are also elected by the people for a four-year term.

READ ALSO: What you should know about Switzerland’s upcoming federal elections

Health insurance carriers will inform you of 2024 rates

You already know that health insurance premiums for the compulsory health insurance (KVG / LaMal) will rise again in 2024.

Although Switzerland’s president (and Health Minister) indicated they may go up by as much as 9 percent on average, the exact rates must be communicated to policyholders no later than October 31st — though you will get the letters before that date.

All those who wish to switch to a cheaper insurance in 2023 must do so by November 30th.

October 29th: Daylight Saving Time ends

A sure sign that the warm and sunny weather is over is having to wind the clocks back ahead of the coming winter. 

On Sunday, October 29th, clocks in Switzerland will be turned back one hour at 3 am.

This means sunrise and sunset will be about one hour earlier.

The good news is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. The bad news is that it’s going to get darker earlier in the evening.