Switzerland announces latest entry measures for travellers

 Tuesday, September 28, 2021 

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Switzerland

Switzerland has imposed new entry restrictions for travellers from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Japan and Serbia starting Monday, September 27, 2021.

The change in entry rules for arrivals from these countries follows a move of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) to drop these six countries from the list of safe countries and regions and to include them in the list of high-risk areas, following an increase in the number of Coronavirus cases in their territory.

In contrast, Uruguay has now been included in the list of safe areas, and visitors from this country can enter Switzerland under the facilitated rules, starting from next Monday. According to a statement by the Swiss Federal Council, announcing several changes to COVID-19 measures in the country, foreign nationals coming from a country listed as high-risk; in particular tourists cannot enter Switzerland if they do not have proof of vaccination with one of the vaccines recognized in Switzerland as proof of travel.

The council noted that people with a Swiss passport or a valid residence permit may enter Switzerland from any country at any time. All persons entering Switzerland must present an entry form. In addition, all persons who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered must present a negative test result.

On September 13, Switzerland imposed the requirement of holding a COVID-19 passport for those wishing to attend indoor areas, like restaurants, cafeterias and more. It was also reported that those who were vaccinated in third countries would have to test every three days in order to be able to attend indoor dining areas in Switzerland.

However, the Council has announced that now, all persons who have been vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), including those in third countries, will be able to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate. The latest move would also allow tourists to participate in social activities.

Those who have recovered from the Coronavirus in the last six months will also be eligible to obtain the document. Those vaccinated with vaccines other than those approved by the EMA will be able to obtain a Swiss certificate only if they are residents in Switzerland, and the vaccine they have been vaccinated with is approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The demand for COVID-19 tests for COVID certificates has spiked up since September 10, thus resulting in additional costs of around CHF 160 million for the federal government. As the government has extended free testing for those who are vaccinated with only the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, it is estimated that until the end of November, the same will cost an extra further CHF 120 million.

The number of Coronavirus cases in Switzerland detected daily has recently fallen. Up until now, the country, which counts a population of 8.545 million, has recorded 828,336 COVID-19 cases and 10,592 deaths from the virus.

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