While the Swiss Federal Council has lifted the quarantine requirement for all countries, a negative PCR test report has now been made mandatory for entry into Switzerland.
This testing requirement applies to all arrivals aged 16 and above and also to those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the disease. In addition to taking a PCR test before travelling, a second test (PCR test or rapid antigen test) must be carried out between the fourth and seventh day after arrival. The tests costs would have to be borne by the traveller. The stricter rules on testing for persons entering the country have come into force following concern around the Omicron variant.
The Federal Council has instructed airlines to ensure that they inform passengers about the need to present a negative Covid report before departure, no traveller will be allowed to board without presenting a negative test result. Hotels and hospitality units are also required to check that guests have been tested.
Considering the current situation to be of great concern, the Federal Council notes in a statement, “The emergence of the Omicron variant requires an additional pandemic response. The WHO classified Omicron as a variant of concern on 26 November. It is believed to be highly transmissible, and it is possible that people who are immune to the Delta variant could also become infected. It is also unclear how well the vaccination protects against severe cases of the disease and how dangerous the new variant is.”
Third country nationals, who are not vaccinated, and would want to travel to Switzerland for tourism purposes or for social visits will be refused entry without gainful employment of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days – apart from certain hardship cases.