Swiss bask in reopened shops as COVID-19 cases drop

GENEVA (AP) — Shoppers and store owners alike were basking in Switzerland’s reopening of nonessential shops like bookstores and clothing vendors. Swiss authorities last week gave the go-ahead to what they called a “cautious” reopening Monday despite a new, more-transmissible COVID-19 variant that first appeared in Britain that is increasingly circulating in the rich Alpine country. In mid-January, authorities ordered the closure of stores except for supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential businesses. That was around the time that the country of 8.5 million was tallying more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases per day based on a 7-day average. That rate has gradually dropped in recent weeks, now to about 1,000 per day.