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TRAVEL

Where to find out about last-minute train schedule changes in Switzerland

If you rely on Swiss train network to commute to work, or just to get around, you’d want to know about short-term schedule changes. These tips will help you stay informed about any disruptions on your route.

Where to find out about last-minute train schedule changes in Switzerland
Swiss trains are no longer as dependable as they once were. Photo by AFP

Swiss trains are famous for their punctuality and reliability. But from time to time, delays and cancellations can, and do, happen, inconveniencing thousands of passengers.

For instance, on Friday morning October 2nd, about half of the trains between Bern and Zurich were cancelled due to power outage, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) said. 

Problems such as this do occur occasionally, along with other impediments to a punctual service.

One of them, according to SBB, is the shortage of train mechanics in Switzerland, aggravated by training delays caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

As a result, some peak-hour trains could not be put back into service after the lockdown.

READ MORE: Train links between Switzerland and Paris to be reduced

How can passengers know ahead of time about any last-minute cancellations or delays?

This link shows traffic disruptions expected until December 13th, the date when the new train schedule will go into effect. 

The timetable is also constantly updated on the SBB Mobile app

Any delays or last minute cancellations are indicated there in real time.

On Twitter, @RailService and @railinfo_cff provide information on possible disruptions, as does this website. 


 

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TRAVEL

What is the fine for not filling out Switzerland’s Covid arrival form?

There is one essential form all travellers to Switzerland must fill out, but many don’t. If caught, border guards will hand out fines.

A 100-franc fine could be imposed on those who don’t fill out the Personal Locator Form
Important paperwork: Switzerland-bound travellers must fill out the PLF form or risk getting fined. Photo by Zurich Airport

With constantly changing travel rules, it is difficult to keep up with all the regulations that need to be followed to enter Switzerland (and all the other countries, for that matter).

Since September 20th, everyone arriving in Switzerland, regardless of their country of origin, mode of transport, or vaccination status, must fill out the electronic Personal Location Form (PLF).

Once filled out and registered online, you will receive a QR code which you will have to show when entering Switzerland.

However, some people may be unaware of the requirement and enter the country without this form.

READ MORE: Here is the form you need to enter Switzerland

Checks are done randomly, so many travellers slip in without having filled this form. But if caught, you will have to pay a 100-franc fine.

So far, 200 people had to pay this fine, according to Tamedia media group.

The only people exempted from this rule are transit passengers, long-haul lorry drivers transporting goods across borders,  children under 16, cross-border workers, and residents of border areas.

The PLF requirement is an addition to other travel regulations the Federal Council implemented in September:

Two tests to enter Switzerland are now required for the unvaccinated and unrecovered.

Unvaccinated arrivals and those who have not contracted and recovered from the virus in the past six months must show two negative tests. 

The first proof should be presented when arriving in Switzerland.  Then, four to seven days later, travellers will have to undergo another test, which they must pay for themselves.

Both PCR and antigen results are accepted.

These rules only apply to arrivals from nations not on the Switzerland’s high-risk list. As the United States and United Kingdom are considered high risk, only vaccinated people from those countries can arrive in Switzerland.

This article contains more information on the rules which apply. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s new travel and Covid certificate rules?

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