NOTE: Switzerland updated its high-risk country list from February 1st onwards. Please click here for updated information.
People travelling from Ireland will now face quarantine in Switzerland, officials said on Tuesday, following World Health Organisation warnings of a “massive increase” in cases in the EU member state.
As of 1200 GMT, arrivals from Ireland joined those from countries including the United States, Britain, South Africa and Sweden in having to undergo 10 days of quarantine.
When the decision was made, four more countries were added to Switzerland's quarantine list – the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands and Panama – however only Ireland was added immediately.
The rest will go on Switzerland's list from Friday, January 15th onwards.
The new rules came after the World Health Organisation's emergencies director Michael Ryan drew attention to Ireland's plight.
He told a press conference in Geneva on Monday that the country had “done extremely well” in two surges of disease but had since suffered “one of the most acute increases in disease incidence of any country”.
Ireland had officially registered just over 93,000 cases on January 1 but that figure had jumped to more than 150,000 by Monday.
Ryan said the rise was due to increased social mixing rather than the emergence of a new, apparently much more contagious strain of the virus in England.
He said the Irish had taken “immediate action” over the last fortnight and the positivity rate was now starting to drop. The Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic are due to join the Swiss quarantine list on Friday.
Failing to comply with the quarantine requirement can result in a fine of up to 10,000 Swiss francs ($11,240, 9,250 euros).
Zurich, Geneva and Basel airports have regular flights to and from Dublin.