The Swiss government removed nearly all pandemic restrictions at midnight today, as the country believes they’re over the worst of the pandemic as hospitalization rates drop.
Swiss President, Ignazio Cassis, said at a press conference: “Switzerland is taking a decisive and important step towards normality,”
“The virus is there. We are learning how to live with the virus,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Swiss government wrote: “Thanks to the high level of immunity among the population, it is unlikely that the healthcare system will be overburdened despite the continued high level of virus circulation.”
“For the Federal Council, this means that the conditions are in place for a rapid normalisation of social and economic life.”
The New Entry Restrictions In Switzerland
It’s now easy for travelers to enter Switzerland for a vacation in 2022.
Tourists no longer need to provide a negative PCR test before travel, and travelers no longer need to fill out a passenger locator form. As a result, millions of fully vaccinated Americans can enter Switzerland with no hassle.
Travelers can enter Switzerland if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Swiss citizens
- Holders of Swiss residence rights
- Holders of rights of free movement (EU/EFTA citizens)
- Fully vaccinated persons (last vaccination within 270 days before entry)
- Children under 18 traveling with a fully vaccinated adult caregiver
- Cases of special necessity
Switzerland accepts doses of the following vaccines for entry:
- Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2 / Comirnaty® / Tozinameran)
- Moderna (mRNA-1273 / Spikevax / COVID-19 vaccine Moderna)
- AstraZeneca (AZD1222 Vaxzevria®/ Covishield™)
- Janssen / Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)
- Sinopharm / BIBP (SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell))
- Sinovac (CoronaVac)
- Novavax (NVX-CoV2373 / Nuvaxovid™/ CovovaxTM)
Unvaccinated travelers may not enter Switzerland unless the Swiss government exempts them.
The New Internal Restrictions In Switzerland
In addition, Switzerland has removed its vaccine passport from domestic life. Travelers will no longer need a vaccine passport to enter large events, bars, cinemas, restaurants, indoor tourist attractions, etc.
Previously, unvaccinated travelers needed to show proof of recovery from COVID-19 or test negative for COVID-19 to enter most indoor venues. The vaccine passport was frustrating for U.S. tourists because they had to go through a process to get it.
Switzerland is also removing its mask mandate from most aspects of life. Travelers will only need to wear masks on public transport or in healthcare facilities nationwide.
In response to maintaining the mask mandate on public transport, the Swiss president said: “You can avoid shopping, for example, with online shopping or by adjusting the time you go shopping. This is not the case in public transport.”
Switzerland will also remove all restrictions on private gatherings and the permit requirement for large-scale events.
However, unlike some EU nations, Switzerland will continue its requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19.
Travelers will need to self-isolate for five days if they test positive for COVID-19. The Swiss president suggested: “Anyone who has tested positive is very contagious in the short term… The most contagious people can be taken out of circulation in this way.”
The COVID-19 Situation In Switzerland
Cases are currently at an all-time high in Switzerland despite decreasing in recent weeks. The current 7-day case average is 19,846. Over 69% of Switzerland’s population has been fully vaccinated from COVID-19.
Travelers are witnessing the greatest relaxation of COVID-19 entry rules in Europe since COVID-19 began. Most European countries—including England, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, and Germany—don’t require testing for fully vaccinated tourists.
Although there are still months before summer 2022, perhaps we’re finally seeing Europe return to travel normality once and for all.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com