Covid-19 tests are now mandatory for some arrivals at Switzerland's EuroAirport

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Covid-19 tests are now mandatory for some arrivals at Switzerland's EuroAirport
Covid-19 tests are compulsory for certain arrivals at Basel airport. Photo: AFP

Starting on August 1st, passengers arriving in Basel from Turkey, Israel and Serbia are required to take a coronavirus test.


The airport is technically on French territory but it is located only 3.5 kilometres from the Swiss city of Basel, so it serves both France- and Switzerland-bound travellers.

According to the airport authorities, screening tests are carried out "in accordance with French legislation". 

It added that from August 1st, these tests are "imposed by the French authorities for all passengers arriving at EuroAirport" from the countries that France considers to be at risk due to the high number of coronavirus infections. 

 "Currently, this applies to arrivals from Israel, Serbia and Turkey."

The tests are conducted by France's regional health authority, Agence Régionale de Santé Grand Est, directly at the airport before passport control. Longer processing times than usual must be expected.

The airport officials noted that while the "Covid-19 negative test releases travellers to France from the quarantine requirement, this is not the case for travellers to Switzerland".


That's because Switzerland has a mandatory 10-day quarantine for arrivals from 42 countries whose rates of infection are higher than Switzerland's or the EU's.

Both Israel and Serbia are on the list.

EuroAirport is currently the only Swiss airport where Covid-19 tests are being carried out. There is no compulsory testing at Geneva and Zurich airports.

Some of the country's politicians have called for all arrivals to Switzerland to be tested, following the example of airports in Germany and Austria, which offer returnees from high-risk countries a coronavirus test. If these passengers show negative results, they can enter the country without a quarantine.

READ MORE: Will Switzerland introduce coronavirus testing at airports to cut quarantine?

However, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said that "a negative test result does not exempt from the mandatory quarantine requirement or shorten the quarantine period". 

The reason, FOPH said, is that "a negative test result does not rule out an infection. It is necessary to wait at least five days for the virus to have spread in the body and for it to be detected by a smear".


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