No quarantine? Swiss airlines calls for rapid coronavirus testing at airports

No quarantine? Swiss airlines calls for rapid coronavirus testing at airports
An empty Swiss check-in counter at Geneva Airport. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss has called for rapid coronavirus testing to be implemented at Switzerland’s airports to help passengers avoid quarantine on their return.

Under the plan, the costs of the tests would not be borne out by passengers, but would instead be covered jointly by medical providers and airports. 

According to the proposal, passengers who test negative would be able to avoid Switzerland’s compulsory ten-day quarantine requirement. 

Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Head of Commerce at Swiss, said that the airline sees the proposal as a way to boost the struggling airline industry. 

Goudarzi Pour said the plan has the support of Zurich Airport. 

Zurich Airport has made coronavirus testing voluntarily available, but Swiss politicians have argued that the tests should be made compulsory. 

FDP National Councillor Matthias Jauslin argued that all returnees must be mandatorily tested, allowing them to return to work without quarantine as long as they test negative. 

READ MORE: ‘Anyone could be quarantined': Switzerland repeats advice not to travel abroad 

SVP National Councillor Verena Herzog agreed, although she said it was of crucial importance that the tests were reliable. 

Jasmin Bodmer, a spokesperson for Zurich Airport, has said for now the tests – which cost CHF180 – will remain voluntary. 

“So far there has been no federal requirement for rapid corona tests.”

As it stands, even those who test negative at Zurich Airport are still required to complete a ten-day quarantine if they have returned from a high-risk country. 

Between 30 and 80 tests are carried out each day.

In Germany, returnees have been tested free of charge at all major airports since early August. 

 

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