Switzerland Relaxes Travel Testing Leading to Increase in UK Skiers

Testing rules for entering Switzerland were relaxed on Saturday. It’s been welcomed by the ski resorts & UK operators that offer ski holidays in Switzerland, but cases in the country remain high with health services under pressure. UPDATED

People arriving in Switzerland from January 22nd are not needed to show negative tests on entry, as long as they are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.

Unvaccinated and unrecovered people still need to provide a test on entry.

Cases in Switzerland remain high.

It has 1,694 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.

It is 1,407 in Austria, 2,062 in Italy and 3,229 in France.

In the UK it is 964.

The testing in Switzerland is being reduced, but this is mainly due to limited capacity.

“Due to limited testing capacity, travellers will no longer be required to take follow-up tests four to seven days after arriving,” said the Federal Council in a statement.

“The Passenger Locator Form (PLF) will only have to be completed by those travelling to Switzerland by plane or on a long-distance bus service.”

The easing of testing comes as other measures remain as cases cause concern.

The requirement to work from home applies until end of February, and other measures provisionally until end of March.

“In view of the continuing strained situation in hospitals, the Federal Council, after consulting the cantons, social partners, parliamentary committees and relevant associations, is extending the requirement to work from home until the end of February, and the remaining measures until the end of March,” it said in a statement.

“All of the cantons generally came out in favour of extending the validity of the measures,” it added.

See here for the full details from The Swiss Federal Council.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image c/o PlanetSKI

Here at PlanetSKI we are planning to visit Zermatt later this week ahead of the relaxing of travel testing rules on Saturday 22nd.

We are currently based in Aosta in neighbouring Italy, and can access Zermatt from Cervinia.

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Image © PlanetSKI

We will be reporting on what the rules are on the slopes of Zermatt, the regulations in town and, most importantly, how they are being interpreted.

Of the ski nations, the rules for entering Switzerland and internal regulations once people are there are have been some of the lightest in Europe.

Except last December when it suddenly announced strict measures.

Then abruptly it changed its mind.

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Swiss ski resorts are reported to have benefited from the country’s more relaxed approach.

Swiss Tourism says some ski areas in Switzerland are seeing five times as many guests from abroad as before the pandemic.

“Our survey showed that up to five times as many guests came to the Swiss ski areas from neighbouring countries, i.e. from Germany for German-speaking Switzerland and from France for French-speaking Switzerland,” said the Swiss Tourism spokesperson, Markus Berger, to RTS.

There was no mention of UK visitors.

“They have often stated that the less stringent restrictions for Covid-19 were the reason for their trips to Switzerland,” he added.

Last winter Switzerland mainly kept its ski resorts open and PlanetSKI reporter, Mark Urban, visited the Swiss Alps at the end of the season to assess the policy and its impact.

Mark Urban, PlanetSKI, Switzerland

Mark Urban, PlanetSKI, Switzerland.

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.

Image © PlanetSKI