UK Residents in Quarantine in Switzerland Allowed to Leave
22nd December 2020
Last modified on December 25th, 2020
The authorities had ordered UK skiers into isolation if they arrived after December 14th. Now flights resume between to the two countries but only for nationals returning home for Xmas.
Switzerland to Allow Flights From and To The UK
It is to re-open its airports to flights from the UK, but only for certain travellers.
Switzerland’s Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, DETEC, said it is only for Swiss nationals returning home or UK residents who are currently in Switzerland.
Special protective measures will be applied to people who are still in quarantine to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
On Sunday, Switzerland announced that all flight traffic should be stopped “until further notice” due to the new mutated strain of coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom.
Those returning from Switzerland to the UK will have to go into self-isolation.
Everyone entering Switzerland from a risk area will be required to go into quarantine for 10-days.
When arriving in Switzerland people are required to contact the cantonal health authorities within two days.
Even if they have evidence of a negative test, they will still be required to quarantine for ten days.
Last week it seemed like the perfect holiday for a quick fix of skiing or snowboarding.
Head out to a Swiss ski resort ahead of Xmas with no quarantine measures for people arriving from the UK.
Switzerland is the only main alpine nation with its ski resorts open.
Ski for a few days, and then head back to the UK before Xmas and then complete the 5-day Test & Release programme over the Xmas festivities when most are currently at home anyway.
Then the mutant virus arrived, travel from Europe was blocked and Switzerland went one stage further by ordering anyone who had arrived from the UK since December 14th into immediate self-isolation at their own expense.
“All persons who have entered Switzerland from these two countries since December 14th must go into quarantine for 10 days,” the Federal Council of Switzerland said in a statement last Sunday.
Those that break the rule could be fined 10,000 Swiss Francs (£8,400).
More than 60 flights from the UK landed at Geneva airport last weekend alone.
They would have had around 10,000 people on them.
The Swiss authorities claim they have contacted nearly all the people who had arrived from Britain since December 14th.
Switzerland asked telecommunication companies to send SMS messages to all holders of UK SIM cards who are currently in Switzerland.
The National Covid-19 Science Task Force of Switzerland said that although no cases had so far been officially detected, it was nevertheless “obvious” that some passengers on the incoming flights were infected.
Patrick Mathys of the Federal Office of Public Health has also said the strain is “probably” in Switzerland.
Zermatt is just one resort now issuing these instructions to stop the potential spread of the mutated coronavirus and we repost its advice in full.
“British guests must be quarantined immediately in order to prevent the spread of the mutated virus in Switzerland, all British guests must immediately go into quarantine for 10 days.
“This means that British guests are not allowed to leave their domicile or hotel room.
“This quarantine obligation applies to all British guests who entered Switzerland after December 14, 2020.
“In addition, reporting to the respective canton doctor is mandatory.
“Please support them in organizing their (quarantine) stay.
“And make sure that other guests and local employees who have been in close contact with British guests and have any kind of (even minor) symptoms get tested immediately and also contact the cantonal authorities to determine how to proceed.
“If there is a local accumulation of infections, the canton doctor must be contacted immediately so that measures such as testing all hotel guests can be arranged.
“This is the only way we can all work together to stop the further spread of this highly contagious virus immediately.
“If this new virus mutation also spreads in Switzerland, further measures will be inevitable.
“We all want to prevent that together!”
People do not necessarily have to start a ten-day quarantine from Monday 21st, when the measure was announced.
If they feel healthy, they can leave their quarantine ten days after their arrival according to the Federal Office of Public Health.
So someone who arrived in Switzerland eight days ago, and who is not showing any symptoms, must only stay in their hotel or home for another two days.
Some Swiss ski areas are now closing.
9 out of the 26 Swiss cantons have ordered their ski areas to close.
However, they are the smaller ones and not the major ski cantons of the Valais, Bern and Graubunden.
With Covid-19 continuing to spread in Switzerland at an alarming rate some commentators predict it is only a matter of time before hospital beds fill, deaths rise and the resorts close.
The Federal Council has said that if the R-rate reaches 1.2 then all non-essential shops will likely need to close and at that point it would be hard to justify ski resorts remaining open.
The canton of Bern, home to many major ski areas, is currently at 1.1.
The canton of the Valais, which also has many major ski resorts, has one of the lowest R-rates in the country at 0.7.
The government is urging people to stay home to reduce stubbornly high coronavirus infection rates.
The Swiss government said it was considering a “temporary derogation from the flight ban” for people resident in Britain currently staying in Switzerland so that they may return home.
It added “that is also the case for persons resident in Switzerland currently staying” in the UK.
The Swiss Foreign ministry advised Swiss citizens in the UK to register their trips and stays on App, Travel Admin.
This would enable them to be contacted for a possible return trip, said Hans-Peter Lenz, head of the foreign ministry’s crisis management centre.
Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article with more information and developments from Switzerland later so do check back.