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Majority of Swiss Want Ski Resorts to Close if Covid-19 Worsens

That’s one of the findings of a recent survey where 55% of those polled wanted ski areas to shut if the epidemiological situation deteriorates. In Switzerland the rate of infection is currently improving. In a wide ranging survey many other questions are asked. We look at the current rules & regulations in Switzerland.

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The survey was carried out online between 18th and 19th January 2021 and was completed by 15,089 people across all of Switzerland.

It was conducted by Tamedia and reported last week by the Swiss outlet  “20 Minutes”.

The margin of error is estimated at 1.3%.

The survey also asked people their opinion on the measures introduced by the authorities to handle the pandemic.

30% believe they go too far, while 38% think they do not go far enough.

30% of respondents said the measures are adequate.

In addition, 53% of the population would like to make PCR tests compulsory for anyone arriving in Switzerland from abroad.

Other preferred measures include massive testing (42%) and border closures (39%).

Closing schools is seen as a solution to the current situation for 35% of Swiss people.

26% of Swiss people are in favor of compulsory vaccination for groups at risk.

The poll also looked at whether people who have been vaccinated should have certain advantages over others: 47% of those polled said no.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (24%) agree that vaccinated citizens should be able to take advantage of relaxed measures, but only in clearly defined areas.

14% of Swiss believe that vaccinated people should no longer have to comply with anti-coronavirus restrictions.

France has shut its ski lifts and Italy has closed its ski resorts.

Austria’s resorts are open but they can only be used by local people.

In Switzerland there are strict rules in place in ski resorts for numbers and covid-19 restrictions are in place.

Face masks must be worn on all ski installations, including chair lifts and drag lifts.

Skiers and snowboarders must wear a face mask not only in closed waiting areas,  but also when queuing outside.

In the canton of Vaud ski resorts must now limit their traffic by stopping selling season tickets once the slopes reach 70% of their average capacity.

Verbier in the Valais canton had initial problems with over-crowding and pictures of a long lift queues went viral in December.

It claims the situation is now well managed.

Switzerland’s rate of cases is dropping faster than its alpine neighbours.

For many weeks it has had the highest  number of coronavirus cases per head of population than the  main alpine nations.

That has now changed.

It has 142 confirmed cases of the virus per 100,000 over a 7-day period.

It is 177 in France, 145 in Italy and 117 in Austria.

In the UK it stands at 301.

Around 72% of intensive care beds in Switzerland are occupied and the country has seen more deaths and people in hospital in the second wave.

The level of infections remains “high” according to the federal government.

Vaccinations are underway across the country.

Switzerland aims to inoculate six million people or 70% of the population, on a voluntary basis, by summer.

The Swiss government imposed further measures in mid January amid more contagious virus strains.

We reported on it at the time on PlanetSKI.

Swiss ski resorts are to stay open

  • Non-essential shops are to close
  • Teleworking becomes mandatory where possible
  • Private gatherings are limited to five people.

Switzerland closed restaurants and bars on December 22nd.

Sports and leisure centres, as well as libraries, museums and other cultural institutions were also closed.

Cantons which had a reproduction rate number under 1 or a seven-day case average that was under the Swiss average were able to relax certain measures.

However, from January 9th, all cantons were ordered to impose the same restrictions.

These measures have been extended to the end of February.

The government announced that starting February 1st, anyone found to be in breach of measures to fight the pandemic can be fined between CHF50-200 (£41 – 164), depending on the offence.

These include failing to wear a mask on public transport or attending large private gatherings.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image c/o PlanetSKI.

TRAVEL

Swiss

Swiss. Image © PlanetSKI

On December 20th 2020 Switzerland banned flights from the UK after a new strain of the virus was discovered in England.

England has now banned people from going on holiday to Switzerland, and everywhere else, due to the current lockdown.

Here is the official position from the UK government:

Travel is subject to entry restrictions

·       Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Travellers arriving from the UK are only permitted entry to Switzerland if they hold a Swiss or Liechtenstein residence permit; or a ‘laissez-passer’ issued by the Swiss Embassy in London for certain circumstances. Flights from the UK to Switzerland are limited.

·       UK nationals and other non-Swiss citizens arriving from a ‘high risk country’ are not permitted entry to Switzerland. However, exemptions do apply.

·       UK nationals who hold a residence or cross-border permit for Switzerland or Liechtenstein, or who are travelling from other Schengen countries are permitted entry.

·       Travellers from the UK who have an exemption to enter Switzerland must quarantine for 10 days from arrival in Switzerland. From 8 February, you can reduce the quarantine period to 7 days if you can produce a new a negative COVID-19 test result (rapid antigen test or PCR) and are authorised by the local cantonal authority.

·       From 8 February, travellers from the UK will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result (rapid antigen test or PCR), carried out less than 72 hours before arrival.

·       From 8 February, all travellers arriving in Switzerland by air, boat, bus or train must complete an online form on arrival and provide contact details.

·       Travellers arriving from the UK are currently unable to transit Geneva Airport to enter France, unless you hold a residence or cross-border permit for Switzerland.

This week on PlanetSKI we are looking in detail at the situation in the main alpine countries.

We will be reporting shortly on the picture in Austria as the government meets to decide whether to announce the continuation or easing of lockdown.

Do check back later for that…

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