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Switzerland removes the quarantine requirement for UK visitors

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There is some good news on the tourism front today.

Switzerland has announced today that from tomorrow there will no longer be a requirement for anyone, from any country, to quarantine when arriving.

The trade off, however, is a stricter testing regime.

You will need to be vaccinated to enter.

In addition, a negative PCR test will be required.

You will also need to take a SECOND test, with could be a PCR or antigen / lateral flow test, between Day 4 and Day 7 of your holiday. There is a requirement to report the results of this test to the Cantonal authorities.

More generally, the Swiss authorites are also tightening the restrictions over social gatherings and requirements for Covid passes. Cafes, bars and restaurants will not be allowed to serve customers who are not seated, for example.

There is some additional information here although it is not the most easy to understand website. The key paragraphs are:

Entry into Switzerland: Quarantine rule lifted, stricter testing requirement

At its meeting, the Federal Council also amended the rules on entry. With effect from Saturday, 4 December, 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. In addition to taking a PCR test before travelling, a second test (PCR test or rapid antigen test) must be carried out between the fourth and seventh day after arrival. This test ensures that infected persons who have contracted the virus shortly before or during travel are detected.

Test costs must be borne by the traveller.

Non-vaccinated third-country nationals wishing to enter the Schengen area from countries or regions at risk will be refused entry to Switzerland for short-term stays without gainful employment of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days – apart from certain exceptions (hardship cases). This primarily affects tourism and social visits. The list of high-risk countries and regions is set out in Annex 1 of COVID-19 Ordinance 3. It is updated on an ongoing basis, taking into account the recommendations for the Schengen states issued by the European Commission.

Hopefully more information will come clear later about restrictions for children etc.

Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Paul says:

    And if you arrive at GVA then head into France for the skiing..? Still all the testing even if France might not require it ?

    • Max says:

      Pre-depature PCR-test is still required, however the second test 4 days after arrival becomes obsolete if you have already left by then.

      • Roger W says:

        Great. I am transiting tomorrow via GVA to Tignes in France. Just found out. How can I get a PCR by tomorrow. No I cannot. Thanks for the less than 24 notice. Presume G V A closed tomorrow.

        • Rob says:

          3 hour PCR at Heathrow

          • paul says:

            …and then returning form France via GVA ?? (Swiss side), though i remember you can go through the french side into the airport – just don’t do it with trolleys as its an escalator that border police pushed my trolley onto at the top with all my camera equipment boxes and let it career down to the bottom. Unbelievable how it missed those at the bottom.

  • jeremy i says:

    i dont think you can enter with a recovery certificate – there are both border controls (which require proof of vaccination) and public health measures (which require proof of vaccination or proof of recovery) – it’s very confusing but im fairly certain that only vaccinated tourists can enter.

    • Rob says:

      I thought that too – wording is contradictory as you say. Will remove it from the article just in case.

  • Sukes says:

    Any recommendations in Zurich please for best value providers of antigen tests?

    • Andrew says:

      Not really sure if it’s the cheapest, but I always used the one at the Radisson Blu hotel. It’s next to the airport and convenient. If you pre-book it’s cheaper and shorter queue. Antigen tests are fast and results are in English too. https://zrh.viselio.com/

      • Sukes says:

        Super Andrew, I know the hotel and hadn’t thought to check there as an option. Thks for posting the link.

  • Geoff 1977 says:

    Might change again in a few days.

    New normal.

  • Hugo says:

    The way they raised the restrictions out of the blue over the weekend was ridiculous, it was basically any country that reported Omicron cases got put on the list…you had people weekending in London learning they’d have to quarantine for 10 days on return. Living in GVA, being half british and portuguese Christmas was looking off for a second year running, luckily we went by last year’s experience where they pulled the same stunt and ended up cancelling the quarantines before Xmas.

  • signol says:

    Does this mean that, for example, you can arrive from South Africa, stay in an Airbnb for a fortnight, then continue to the UK? Despite being expensive, still cheaper than the government quarantine here?

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