Thursday, June 24, 2021

Switzerland Relaxes Entry Restrictions for Travellers From Schengen Area & Third-Countries

The Swiss Federal Council has approved a proposal to relax its entry requirements for arrivals from the Schengen Area and third countries.

The decision will become effective on June 26, Sunday, and from then on, travellers reaching Switzerland from any of the Schengen Area countries will no longer have to go through quarantine.

Vaccinated travellers from these countries will also be exempt from the requirement of negative COVID-19 test results. Only those who haven’t been vaccinated or haven’t recovered from COVID-10 reaching Switzerland through the air will have to present negative COVID-19 test results, reports.

According to a press release of the Federal Council announcing the simplification of the current Coronavirus containment measures, all those arriving by plane, vaccinated and non-vaccinated, will still have to provide their contact details.

In addition, Switzerland is easing the existing entry restrictions for persons arriving from third countries who can prove they have been vaccinated. The list of countries issued by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has been amended accordingly,” the press release further notes, highlighting that it is now possible for travellers from countries as the US, Albania and Serbia to enter Switzerland.

At the same time, the Federal Office of Public Health will revise the current list of high-risk countries, which will then include only countries and regions with a worrying virus variant.

Yet, travellers from countries with a virus variant will still be permitted to enter Switzerland without quarantine and testing if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have recently recovered from the virus.

Whereas those who haven’t been vaccinated and haven’t been infected with the virus recently are obliged to present a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test and go into quarantine on entry.

The Federal Office explains that this decision has been taken after the Swiss health authorities asserted that “the vaccines used in Switzerland are only slightly less effective against the Delta variant and thus still offer a very high level of protection.”

Currently, the list of countries with a worrying COVID-19 variant includes:

  • Brazil
  • India
  • Canada
  • Nepal
  • South America
  • United Kingdom

The Federal Council has also adopted two EU regulations on the EU COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate and has also launched the process to have the Swiss certificate recognised by the EU.

In its attempts to reopen the borders, the Swiss government has also started reopening its visa application centres abroad, including those in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Singapore, and more.

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