Switzerland lifts quarantine rule for travellers but stricter testing imposed

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The Swiss Federal Council has decided to amend the rules for entering Switzerland amid the Coronavirus pandemic, by amongst others lifting the obligation to quarantine for all travellers, but at the same time tightening testing rules. In a press release issued, the Council confirmed that starting from the following day, Saturday, there will be no countries on the quarantine list.

“In order to continue to prevent the new Omicron variant from entering the country as far as possible, a stricter testing regime will now apply for all arrivals into Switzerland. This testing requirement also applies to those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the disease,” the Council said.

It further explains that since quarantine is no longer mandatory, travellers will need to take a second test between the fourth and seventh day upon their arrival in Switzerland. The test can be a PCR or rapid antigen and has become obligatory in order to detect infected persons who in the first test falsely result negative. The Council also said travellers should cover the test costs themselves.

Third country travellers who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 and wish to enter Switzerland for a short-term stay will be refused entry. Exempt are only those who show proof of employment or hardship.

In a bid to contain the spread of the Coronavirus even further, and in particular the spread of the newly detected Omicron variant, the Council has approved several more measures, aside from restrictions on travel to Switzerland.