Switzerland To Scrap Testing And Other Travel Entry Requirements

Switzerland To Scrap Testing And Other Travel Entry Requirements

The Swiss government would end all COVID-19 entry restrictions, including testing and providing contact details, announced the government on Wednesday. 

If approved, unvaccinated travelers would no longer need to preset a COVID-19 test on arrival, and vaccine certificates would not be necessary to enter the country or access indoor venues.

On Wednesday, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset presented the 26 cantons with two alternative proposals, which were sent out for consultation until Feb. 9.

Plan A includes the relaxation of virtually all COVID restrictions starting Feb. 17, as the country has passed the peak of infections and the booster campaign is progressing.

COVID certificates, as well as masks, would no longer be required to enter pubs, restaurants, sporting events, or cultural activities.

Only the positive cases would be required to isolate.

With plan B, vaccine certificates or proof of recovery would be needed for nightclubs, choirs, swimming pools and indoor sporting or similar events. The mask rules would continue to apply.

“Today heralds the beginning of a new phase in the pandemic,” said Swiss President Ignazio Cassis when announcing the proposals.

“Today is a beautiful day. We see light on the horizon.”

Even if it is no longer needed whilst in Switzerland, the EU Digital COVID Certificate will be kept because it may be required for travel to other countries or access certain venues.

The government has also agreed to suspend mandatory work-from-home and quarantine regulations, which are supposed to be in place to prevent an overload of the health system.

“We are confident that the hospitals can cope with the situation despite the continuing high number of new infections,” said Interior Minister Alain Berset.

In comparison to previous Covid variants, the highly contagious Omicron strain is causing less severe cases, he added.