Editor's note: The announcement has now been made, with 15 countries added and two removed. Click here for the updated list.
From July 6th, Switzerland put in place a mandatory quarantine requirement for arrivals from ‘high-risk’ countries. The list included 29 countries where coronavirus infection rates were high, including several from Europe.
On Wednesday, July 22nd, the Federal Office of Public Health is set to update the list. According to reporting in Swiss media, up to 18 countries could be included on the list.
What countries could be added to Switzerland’s mandatory quarantine list?
During the initial quarantine announcement, Swiss health authorities said countries with more than 60 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days would be added to the list.
In an assessment of infection rates worldwide carried out by Swiss media outlet Watson, 18 countries have exceeded this metric over the past fortnight.
These are (in order of highest infection rate to lowest infection rate): Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Kazakstan, Costa Rica, Maldives, Palestine, Puerto Rico, North Macedonia, Seychelles, Guatemala, Suriname, Eswatini, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ecuador, Mexico, El Salvador and the United Arab Emirates.
What about the countries already on the list?
The Swiss government has said repeatedly that the list is subject to change, including the removal of countries who appear to have the virus under control.
In an interview with the Tages Anzeiger on Monday, head infectious disease specialist from St Gallen Hospital Pietro Vernazza called for Sweden to be removed from the list.
Sweden's infection rate has plunged in recent weeks and now sits just below the criteria limit, with 57 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
Health officials declined to say whether Sweden would be removed.
The list currently includes: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Chile, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Qatar, Colombia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Serbia, South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States.
The announcement is expected on July 22nd. Stay tuned to The Local Switzerland for updates.