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FYI—Swiss gov. to meet on Aug. 11 regarding any changes to Covid restrictions

For those tracking the Covid situation in Switzerland for an upcoming trip, I just read the following on swissinfo.ch:

The Swiss government has put on ice any further loosening of Covid-19
restrictions, preferring to wait until after the summer holidays to
make a decision on next steps.

The government was due on Thursday to send to cantons its proposed
steps for the next batch of measures to be updated as part of its
three-step plan for exiting the pandemic.

On Wednesday evening, however, Health Minister Alain Berset said such
a step would not yet be taken. The situation in Switzerland was
generally good, Berset said, but the “negative dynamic” of rising
daily case numbers, as well as the “uncertainty” of returning
holiday-makers in the coming weeks, meant that it wasn’t time for any
large-scale changes. The decision would be put off until a government
meeting on August 11, Berset said.

The full article can be found here: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/government-postpones-covid-decision-by-two-weeks/46826250

Posted by
672 posts

Thanx Carrie. I can handle a tour with their current restrictions. Just hope they don't get more restrictive or worse yet shut us out.

Posted by
557 posts

Amen! Hoping all stays the same as we make our plans to leave for Switzerland on 9/16!

Posted by
375 posts

CJ, I am concerned the entry requirements might change. I did read a policy brief from the Swiss Covid taskforce which recommends changes to the entry requirements. As it’s only a RECOMMENDATION, and I have no info. if the gov. is even considering it, I hesitate to mention it, but, if anyone is interested in reading it, it can be found here:

https://sciencetaskforce.ch/en/home/

Scroll to SARS-CoV-2 prevention and border control measures for Switzerland

Jane, your trip is soon enough so even if changes are made to the entry requirements, it’s possible they won’t start until after you arrive. Fingers crossed!!! I’d certainly feel a lot better if I was leaving in the next couple of weeks instead of early Sept.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you for posting this, definitely something to keep an eye on. Really hoping we can make it there in early September, but at least we'd be able to cancel everything should something drastic occur after the Aug 11th meeting.

Posted by
1267 posts

Thanks for the post.

We leave the beginning of Sept. If the Swiss government implements any more restrictive changes, hope they give us enough time to cancel within our free cancelation periods. I have picked hotels based on their cancelation dates, and with one hotel, asked for a later cancelation date than posted, and they kindly agreed. We do have trip insurance, but since I've never ever had to use it, have no idea how easy it would be to file a claim for this, even tho it covers covid -related issues. [The devil is always in the details in the 46 + pages of the policy, which I have tried to read.] I am going to contact them and attempt to get a clean statement .

If the Swiss rules stay as currently stated, I think we will all be ok- I hope. Good luck to all fellow travelers!

Posted by
672 posts

Interesting Carrie. We'll have to see how they balance tourism costs vs health concerns. Maybe the worst would be they'd require a negative test and vaccination. I'd been considering largely self quarantining the last week or 2 before we leave to limit the chance of infection.

The tour company we're traveling with, Tauck just sent an email to us saying they are now requiring all their customers on European tours and cruises be vaccinated. This was because so many sites like museums, public transport, etc were requiring it for entry. Before, you just had to meet the country specific requirements.

Posted by
226 posts

Hoping no major changes on entry over the next 3 weeks as we leave then. We are vaccinated and have to get a Covid test because our flight transits through LHR, if we stick with this flight.

Posted by
246 posts

cchapin: "We are vaccinated and have to get a Covid test because our flight transits through LHR, if we stick with this flight."
Is there a specific test one needs for flights that transits through LHR? We are flying back to the US from Zurich via LHR.
Also, I sent you a private message earlier concerning trip insurance through USAA.
Carol

Posted by
41 posts

Really hope the restrictions don't change before August 14, the day I'm supposed to take the train from Vienna and my friend is to fly from Chicago!

Posted by
11 posts

The same test that you're using to get back to the US will likely work for the UK.

From https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england

"The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.
This could include tests such as:

  • a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal
    amplification (LAMP) tests
  • an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device"
Posted by
22 posts

Hello,
I fly on TAP Portugal airlines from San Francisco to Zurich Aug. 22nd with a 2 hr layover at Lisbon Portugal airport then onward to Zurich. Do I go through customs in both Lisbon and Zurich or just Lisbon? Since I will only be passing through the Lisbon airport, will there be any problems entering Zurich by plane? I will be in Switzerland for 12 days vacation and am fully vaccinated. Thank you for for any information/experience? I am so excited to being going to Switzerland. Susan

Posted by
375 posts

Susan, you’ll want to double check my info., but this is what I found:

For Switzerland, you can use the travel check tool to check entry requirements. I filled it out as leaving from US and being in Portugal in the last 10 days, and you just need a vaccine, no test.

https://travelcheck.admin.ch/check

For Portugal, it sounds as if you need a test to enter, but I’m not sure if you need one if you are just connecting there.

https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Also, keep in mind that one or both of these might change prior to your departure date.

Posted by
375 posts

This sounds a little promising. Let’s hope they stick with the testing for unvaccinated only.

Also on Tuesday, the FOPH announced it had updated its “list of
countries with a variant of concernExternal link” by removing the
three remaining countries.
Until now, non-vaccinated travellers from
India, Nepal, and the United Kingdom had to undergo a ten-day
quarantine on arrival in Switzerland, due to the prevalence of certain
coronavirus strains.
Now that there are no more countries on the
“variant list”, the stipulations set by the FOPH for arrival are that
unvaccinated people arriving by plane must present a valid negative
test, but there are no more quarantine requirements.

Full article can be found here and FOPH stands for Federal Office of Public Health:

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/unvaccinated-holidaymakers-urged-to-take-a-covid-test/46839424

Edited to add gov. site to list, which has no countries on it:

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/liste.html

I hope my boss doesn’t mind that I spend half my day obsessively checking the news from Switzerland. 😉

Posted by
21 posts

@susandealy I'm in a similar situation where I'm laying over in Iceland, which requires a negative test to visit. Additionally, they do require a negative test even if you're just laying over. I would check with your airline to see if it's the same situation there. :)

Posted by
1267 posts

Carrie, thanks for that latest post. I spend half of my [retired] day checking for Swiss news updates. :)

I'm trying to pause my reading and researching for the trip, just in case it's canceled, to lessen the disappointment .

Posted by
1730 posts

testing for transit can be tricky, the Points Guy does a pretty good job of keeping an article updated on how each country in Europe operates

Posted by
226 posts

Pat, agree. It’s excruciating waiting until August 11 to know what they might do as far as US travelers.