***Important Note/Correction, February 18 2022 @ 9:00am. Since publishing this article, the SEM migration police have informed us they are currently amending the federal government’s official removal of all entry requirements so they don’t apply for third-party travelers at this time. While the federal government (including the federal department of home affairs and the federal office of public health) hasve removed all entry rules, border officials have made a separate decision to keep them in place at this time. It is unknown why the different offices of government are displaying different rules, and if/when border officials will allow the federal government’s removal as suggested on Feb 17, 2022.
The original article continues below…..
Switzerland has become the latest country – only the fourth country in the world at present – to completely drop all of its Covid-19 related entry requirements. The European country – famed for its unbeatable chocolate – world-class skiing and scenic mountain views – made the announcement just days ago, much to the delight of travelers around the world, as the president of the country admitted that they are learning to live with the virus.
The changes being implemented by Switzerland are wide-ranging, with not only the country’s Covid-19 related entry requirements getting the boot, but domestic rules and restrictions too – with the country set to resemble life before the pandemic once more.
Here’s a closer look at Switzerland’s latest changes, including which rules have changed, which rules are set to remain for now, and which other countries have made similar changes recently.
Switzerland Drops Requirements – Information For Travelers
Travel to Switzerland is now easier than at any point since the onset of the pandemic, with the federal government declaring all of the country’s Covid-19 related entry requirements now removed as of February 17th. Switzerland is only the fourth country in the world to take such measures, finding itself along with Mexico, El Salvador, and Norway, and could be set to benefit from booster tourism figures as a result.
A press release posted on the Federal Council’s government page states: “Changes to entry rules: Health-related measures for persons entering the country are to be lifted. It will no longer be necessary to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test or complete an entry form.”
The removal of all the country’s entry requirements means that:
- Travelers will not have to fill out an entry form prior to arrival. Previously, this was a requirement for arrivals.
- Travelers will not have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test to enter, regardless of the method of entry. Previously, travelers had to take a negative PCR test within 72 hours or an antigen test within 48 hours.
- Travelers will not have to present proof of vaccination in order to enter Switzerland.
- Travelers will not have to quarantine upon their entry into Switzerland.
Offical Quotes from the Federal Government:
“ENTERING SWITZERLAND. What rules apply with regard to entering Switzerland? There are no longer any public health measures at the border for people entering Switzerland from countries or regions without a variant of concern. These people no longer have to present evidence of vaccination, recovery or a negative test and no longer have to complete a SwissPLF. There are currently no countries on the list of countries with a variant of concern” – Federal Department of Home Affairs Switzerland
A small caveat on the Swiss government’s website however states that travelers who enter Switzerland from an area with a variant of concern may be subjected to more stringent health-related measures. However, as it stands, there are currently no countries considered to be areas with a variant of concern, meaning that all the above entry requirements – or lack thereof – apply to all travelers who are able to visit the country.
Switzerland has also made several changes to its domestic Covid-19 restrictions. Like several other European countries, mask-wearing has been almost completely removed, with masks now only required on public transport and in healthcare institutions. On top of this, the requirement to show a Covid certificate to enter places such as cinemas, theatres, restaurants, and events has also been removed.
What rules are staying?
Alongside the requirement to wear masks in specific situations, Switzerland will also be keeping its mandatory five-day isolation of those who have tested positive for the virus until the end of March. The country’s President, Ignazio Cassis, also warned that his government would be ready to reintroduce Covid-19 related curbs should the situation in the country require it.
Referencing his country’s latest updates in a news conference, President Cassis stated that “The light on the horizon is very visible.” This is true for Switzerland, but also true for travelers, as more and more countries begin to reduce or remove their entry requirements and head towards normality once more.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories