Monday, June 14, 2021

Switzerland to Lift Entry Ban for Vaccinated Third-Country Nationals, Including US, UK & Canada

The Swiss Government has revealed its plans to ease the entry restrictions for third-country nationals wishing to visit the country.

According to the Federal Council, with the approval of the outlined draft that aims to ease the measures, from June 28, travellers from third countries who prove that they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 will no longer be subject to entry restrictions upon arrival.

Strict entry restrictions for third-country nationals have been applied since June 19, 2020, in order to halt the spread of the COVID-19 infection and its mutations. Since then, the Federal Council has steadily relaxed these restrictions, reports.

In addition, due to an improvement of the Coronavirus situation and the fast vaccination rate, the Swiss Federal Council also proposed to significantly relax the border restrictions imposed against travellers from Schengen Area countries. This means that all persons entering Switzerland from a Schengen Area country will no longer be required to self-isolate upon arrival in Switzerland.

The requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test result will only remain mandatory for persons who have not been vaccinated yet or those who have been vaccinated with a vaccine that has not been approved by the Swiss authorities.

“Entry into Switzerland must be made easier. The Federal Council decided at its meeting on June 11, 2021. Health measures at the border must now focus on people from countries in which a worrying variant of the virus is circulating. The quarantine requirement must be lifted for people in the Schengen area. In addition, the current entry ban for travellers from third countries should be lifted if they are vaccinated,” the statement of Switzerland’s Government reads.

On the other hand, the authorities have decided to only impose health measures on arrivals from countries with a worrying virus mutation.

Switzerland’s list of countries with a worrying COVID-19 mutation includes the following countries:

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

However, persons arriving from the UK and Canada or any other country mentioned above will be allowed to skip testing and quarantine requirements, provided that they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the COVID-19.

“In the event of new mutations of the virus against which vaccination would no longer protect, the obligation of testing and quarantine could be extended to those vaccinated and cured,” the Government added.

The Swiss Federal Council proposed the above-mentioned changes regarding the relaxation of restrictions for third-country nationals and the abolishment of the quarantine requirements for arrivals from Schengen Area countries on June 11. The proposal is put for discussion until June 16, and if approved, changes are expected to enter into force on June 28.

Previously, Swiss authorities abolished quarantine requirements for five countries and several regions of France, Germany, and Italy.

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