Switzerland has reopened for U.S. and Canadian travelers as the country attempts to salvage the summer and attract visitors from North America.
The country first set out a plan to allow vaccinated tourists from “third countries” at the start of June. However, the Swiss authorities didn’t decide on this subject until last week.
The country officially reopened on June 28th, allowing North American visitors to enter the country and enjoy the national parks, amazing chocolate, and the Swiss Alps.
The director of the Zemp tourism board in Switzerland stated, “I’m not only thrilled but also feel quite emotional that we finally can go back to what we do best; host guests from North America in our magnificent country.
The director also stated, “I have long believed that Switzerland, with its small boutique towns, rustic villages dotted along picturesque valleys, and wide-open alpine landscapes are the natural choice for a post-Covid holiday. Now that the borders will be open… we can’t wait to welcome each one of you.”
The Entry Requirements
The Switzerland tourism website states that all visitors from third countries, such as the U.S. and Canada, must have evidence of vaccination or complete recovery from COVID-19.
Here are some of the most critical requirements:
- Visitors must have received the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before visiting the country
- If travelers haven’t received their vaccine, they’ll need to show official proof that they’ve recovered from COVID-19 through an official COVID-19 test result in the previous 6 months
- If travelers have neither of the above, they can get a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arriving or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours of boarding the flight
- Children under the age of 16 do not require evidence of vaccination, but they must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test
- Finally, travelers must complete an online form before they fly to Switzerland
Switzerland has also dropped its quarantine requirements to all countries in the Schengen area. The nation has fully reopened to vaccinated U.K, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Singapore, and South Korean travelers. Switzerland initially started making plans for reopening in June 2020, when it started its “Clean & Safe Program.”
The COVID-19 Situation In Switzerland
Switzerland closed its borders early and didn’t have many COVID-19 cases in 2020. However, there was a big wave of cases during the latter part of the year when cases hit 20,000 per day.
The country has had 10,994 deaths and over 703,000 recorded cases. Switzerland is vaccinating the country quickly, and the country has fully vaccinated 3.1 million people. Furthermore, the country has around 1,000 cases per day, making the country a relatively safe place to visit during the summer months.
The Current Restrictions In Switzerland
Switzerland has recently decided to relax its COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to drop and vaccination rates rise higher. Therefore, the country no longer mandates the use of masks outside.
Dance clubs, water parks, and large events of over 10,000 people can open. In addition, since the end of May, the country has reopened indoor and outdoor restaurants. However, masks are still compulsory in indoor spaces, including restaurants and shopping malls.
Switzerland now has some of the most manageable restrictions in the EU, and the country attracts millions of visitors from North America yearly. Although Switzerland is fantastic for hiking during the summer, will you be booking your skiing trip here during the coming winter months?
Switzerland joins a host of EU countries that have reopened to U.S. travelers, including Portugal, Sweden, Spain, France, and Italy.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com