Switzerland Increases Restrictions as Cases Rise
17th December 2021
Last modified on December 19th, 2021
There will not be closure of restaurants, bars and events, as had been forecast by some. Instead there are further restrictions mainly targeting the unvaccinated. Its intensive beds are more than 80% occupied.
Only vaccinated and recovered people will be able to access restaurants, cultural, sports and leisure facilities as well as events under the new rules.
Masks are mandatory and people must have an allocated seat.
Nightclubs and bars without allocated seating will be restricted to the vaccinated and recovered people who can also show a recent negative test.
The government has also agreed to cover the costs of testing for the purposes of the Covid certificate.
There is an obligation for people to work from home if they can.
Ski resorts are breathing a sigh of relief as the closing of bars and restaurants would have had a significant impact.
So too restricting outdoor events in ski resorts with many planned for the Xmas holiday period.
The new measures start on December 20th are in place in the first instance until January 24th, 2022.
“The new rule reduces the risk of unimmunised people becoming infected as they are also more likely to pass on the virus and become seriously ill,” said a government statement.
See here for the full details (in English).
Switzerland’s intensive care beds are 82% full and the Federal Office of Public Health said they have never been so full since the pandemic began.
Half of the people in the ICU beds have been admitted with Covid-19.
4 out of 5 admissions are people who are unvaccinated and the government said “these patients are mainly unvaccinated middle-aged and older persons”.
Hospitals have been recommended to postpone non-urgent medical procedures.
Switzerland has also hit its highest ever seven-day Covid incidence per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.
It now stands at 549
Austria currently has 296 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.
Elsewhere in the Alps it is 516 in France, 296 in Austria and 215 in Italy.
In the Pyrenees mountain range it is 1,712 in Andorra and 190 in Spain.
Austria has eased some restrictions as its cases fall.
The health authorities are also concerned about the number of infections with the Omicron variant.
They say it “is expected to rise significantly in the run-up to Christmas”.
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With France closed to UK skiers and snowboarders, some are heading to Switzerland over the festive season.
Entry restrictions have been slightly eased for travellers entering Switzerland.
People can now choose between a quick test within 24 hours of arrival or a PCR test within 72 hours.
From Monday December 20th, people who are either vaccinated or recently recovered from infection no longer have to take another test within four to seven days of entering the country.
UK Government Advice for Entering Switzerland:
You are eligible to enter Switzerland for any travel purpose if you are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test on boarding.
More detail is available on the Swiss Federal Office of Health’s website.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated are only eligible to enter Switzerland from the UK if they meet certain conditions.
Unvaccinated children and adolescents arriving from the UK under the age of 18 are allowed to enter Switzerland if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.
All travellers must complete a passenger locator form.
Travellers must be able to produce a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) on boarding a plane to Switzerland and on entry. You must have this test in your country of departure. Children under the age of 16 are exempt from testing. There are limited other exemptions from this requirement. A negative COVID-19 test will not grant your entry to Switzerland if you are not eligible to enter (i.e. fully vaccinated or exempt).
Children under the age of 16 are exempt from testing.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
Switzerland will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. However a screenshot or a photo is not sufficient. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered within the 12 months prior to travel and in the case of the Janssen vaccination, at least 22 days prior to travel.
If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November 2021 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully.
Travellers entering Switzerland to transit on to another destination (e.g. France, Germany or Italy) are required to show a negative PCR test before boarding a plane to Switzerland and on entry to Switzerland. Travellers transiting airside in Switzerland are not required to show a negative PCR test before boarding a plane to Switzerland, but may be required to show negative tests for their onward destination.
If you are transiting Switzerland, you are strongly advised to have your onward travel booked in advance and to have confirmed you meet the entry requirements of your destination country (you may be asked to provide proof of your onward travel and accommodation). If you are transiting by air, you must complete an online form and provide contact details. You should also check the travel advice for any country that you will transit on the way back to the UK. Further information about travelling through Switzerland is available from the State Secretariat for Migration.
We do our very best at PlanetSKI to ensure the information provided here is as complete and up-to-date as possible. However, please be aware that we assume no liability in this respect. Information provided by PlanetSKI should be checked with the official information provided by the authorities. The situation regarding travel warnings and local rules changes quickly.