Switzerland Cuts Quarantine Requirements For All Travelers

Winter sports enthusiasts can start planning their ski vacations again after Switzerland announced it was scrapping its COVID-19 quarantine requirements. The relaxation of the quarantine rules came just seven days after Switzerland added the United Kingdom to its Red List. Previously foreigners arriving from any country on Switzerland’s Red List had to quarantine for ten days before mixing with the general population.

Switzerland has scrapped its ten-day quarantine requirement. Photo: Getty Images

In a statement issued on December 3, 2021, the Bern-based government said that starting from Saturday, December 4, 2021, fully vaccinated vacationers arriving in Switzerland would no longer be required to quarantine. Rather than continue implementing quarantine periods, the government decided to get rid of its Red List in favor of stricter testing.

Everyone must take two PCR tests

In its statement, the Federal Council said that regardless of vaccinated status, all persons must now take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before traveling. Then after arriving in Switzerland, they will be required to take a second PCR or antigen test between the fourth and seventh day of being in the country.

Unvaccinated people from countries or regions at risk will be refused entry into Switzerland; however, children under 16 who are not vaccinated will be allowed to enter if a vaccinated adult accompanies them. The list of high-risk countries and regions is compiled and updated regularly by the European Commission.

Swiss safe travel
In Switzerland, wearing a face mask is required in most places. Photo: Swiss

By making people take a second test, the Federal Council says that it will ensure that people who may have contracted the virus shortly before or while traveling will be detected. The cost of the test must be paid for by the traveler.

Currently, 65% of the Switzerland adult population has been vaccinated for COVID-19. Despite this, the number of people infected with the coronavirus continues to rise. On Friday, the government reported 9,951 new cases, including two instances of the Omicron strain.

While in Switzerland

Due to worries over the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Switzerland has imposed restrictions on public gatherings and tightened its COVID-19 certificate rules. Starting on Monday, December 6, 2021, people attending a public event must have both identification and a certificate or Swiss/EU app that proves they are fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or tested negative.

The wearing of face masks will also be mandatory in places where you must show a certificate. Previously there was an exemption for 30 or fewer people, but that has now been rescinded. Also, the certificate rule will apply to outdoor events with more than 300 people instead of the previous 1,000 people rule.

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Ski vacations in Switzerland

Holidaymakers in the United Kingdom who had booked ski trips to Switzerland and presumed they were ruined due to the Red List rule can now start planning again. However, it looks like they will not be able to travel with a tour company until early next year.

65% of people in Switzerland are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

Once the United Kingdom was added to Switzerland’s Red List, tour operators canceled all of their 2021 hotel bookings and flights. You can, of course, make your own arrangements and travel independently.

What do you think about Switzerland’s new entry rules? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.