Switzerland imposes new entry restrictions to prevent Omicron COVID variant
In order to combat the spread of the new Omicron strain of COVID-19, the Swiss government has brought back restrictions for arrivals from several countries around the world. Travellers from these countries will face a mandatory quarantine of 10 days and must submit a negative PCR test upon arrival in Switzerland.
New restrictions for travellers to Switzerland
The emergence of the new Omicron strain of coronavirus prompted a swift reaction from countries around the world, Switzerland included. For the first time since August, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has added new countries to its “list of countries with a variant of concern." As of November 30, the countries on the list are as follows:
- Czech Republic (Czechia)
- Eswatini (Swaziland)
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
Anyone arriving from one of these countries over the age of 16, including those who are vaccinated against or have recovered from COVID-19, must present a negative PCR test result upon arrival, as well as a PCR or rapid antigen test done between days four and seven after entry, along with a passenger entry form (PEF).
All passengers, including children, must then quarantine for 10 days. When you arrive, you must contact your local cantonal authority. To stay up to date with the list after November 30, it is advised to visit the official government website.
New quarantine upon arrival in Switzerland after first Omicron case
The current rules are in place to combat the Omicron variant of coronavirus. The strain, first identified in South Africa, has spread to many nations around the world. The FOPH is expected to confirm Switzerland’s first case of Omicron on Monday.
The list of nations is being updated daily as more countries confirm their first case of the new virus. It must be noted that, despite new restrictions being implemented on a daily basis, the FOPH is assuring that residence permit holders and Swiss citizens will always be able to return to Switzerland, as long as they follow the testing and quarantine procedures.