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HEALTH

Seven days: How to leave quarantine early in Switzerland

Since Monday, people in Switzerland can reduce their quarantine from 10 to seven days if they have a negative test results. Here's how.

Seven days: How to leave quarantine early in Switzerland
Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

Following a decision by the Federal Council, as of Monday, February 8th, people placed in quarantine after returning from a trip, or after having been in contact with a confirmed Covid case, can submit a negative test result to the cantons from the seventh day and ask to be released from the quarantine.

This represents a slight shortening from the previous situation, where quarantines needed to go for at least ten days regardless of the results of a test. 

Coronavirus quarantine: Here is the form you need to enter Switzerland 

“These rules apply to all people who are permitted to enter Switzerland. That means they also apply if you are Swiss and returning to Switzerland after being abroad”, the Federal Office of Public Health said on its website.

How do I leave quarantine after seven days in Switzerland? 

As with anything in Switzerland, the exact way of doing so depends largely on the canton – meaning that in effect there are 26 different ways in which one can leave quarantine. 

However, in each canton, the quarantined person must pay for the test themselves.

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

Each request made must be verified and confirmed by the cantonal authority.

How do I leave quarantine in my canton?

Here’s an overview from some of Switzerland’s largest cantons. 

For any canton that is not included here, please click the following link to be connected with the authorities in your canton. 

Zurich

People looking to leave quarantine early in Switzerland’s largest canton will need to receive a negative result in either a PCR or an Antigen test before getting in touch with Zurich authorities here

Basel City

In addition to having evidence of a negative test, people looking to leave quarantine in Basel City need to have no symptoms of the virus. 

They must then report the ending of the quarantine to the following email address: [email protected] Once this email has been sent, you are free to leave quarantine – you do not need to wait for a reply. More information is available here

You are encouraged to keep evidence of the negative test with you in case you are requested to show it by the health department. 

Neuchâtel

To end a quarantine early, you must register online and submit a negative PCR test. More information is available here

Valais

A written certificate confirming the negative test is required and must be emailed to the address [email protected] More information is available here

Fribourg

The proof of the negative test should be sent to [email protected] More information is available at the following link.

Vaud

In Vaud, the situation is a little easier. People in quarantine will be automatically contacted on the seventh day by the contact-tracing service.

They will assess the situation to see whether the he quarantine should be shortened. Click here for more information

Geneva

Genevan authorities will contact quarantined individuals by SMS and encourage them to take the test from the seventh day.

The cantonal doctor’s service will then decide whether the quarantine can be lifted. Click here for more information

Bern

People wanting to end quarantine early in Bern can send an email to Bernese authorities at [email protected] According to reader feedback, responses are clear and immediate. 

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HEALTH

WHO says European festivals should go ahead despite monkeypox risk

Most new cases of monkeypox are currently detected in Western Europe. The World Health Organisation says this is no reason to cancel more than 800 festivals scheduled to take place on the continent this summer.

WHO says European festivals should go ahead despite monkeypox risk

The World Health Organization said Friday that European summer festivals should not be cancelled due to the monkeypox outbreak but should instead manage the risk of amplifying the virus.

A surge of monkeypox cases has been detected since May outside of the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic.

Most of the new cases have been in Western Europe.

More than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death have now been reported to the WHO from 48 countries in total this year.

“We have all the summer festivals, concerts and many other events just starting in the northern hemisphere,” Amaia Artazcoz, the WHO’s mass gatherings technical officer, told a webinar entitled “Monkeypox outbreak and mass gatherings: Protecting yourself at festivals and parties”.

The events “may represent a conducive environment for transmission”, she said.

“These gatherings have really close proximity and usually for a prolonged period of time, and also a lot of frequent interactions among people,” Artazcoz explained.

“Nevertheless… we are not recommending postponing or cancelling any of the events in the areas where monkeypox cases have been identified.”

Sarah Tyler, the senior communications consultant on health emergencies at WHO Europe, said there were going to be more than 800 festivals in the region, bringing together hundreds of thousands of people from different countries.

“Most attendees are highly mobile and sexually active and a number of them will have intimate skin-to-skin contact at or around these events,” she said.

“Some may also have multiple sexual contacts, including new or anonymous partners. Without action, we risk seeing a surge in monkeypox cases in Europe this summer.”

Risk awareness

The UN health agency recommends that countries identify events most likely to be associated with the risk of monkeypox transmission.

The WHO urged festival organisers to raise awareness through effective communication, detect cases early, stop transmission and protect people at risk.

The outbreak in newly-affected countries is primarily among men who have sex with men, and who have reported recent sex with new or multiple partners, according to the WHO.

People with symptoms are advised to avoid attending gatherings, while people in communities among whom monkeypox has been found to occur more frequently than in the general population should exercise particular caution, it says.

The normal initial symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

Meg Doherty, from the global HIV, hepatitis and sexually-transmitted infection programmes at WHO, said: “We are not calling this a sexually-transmitted infection.

“Stigmatising never helps in a disease outbreak,” she added.

“This is not a gay disease. However, we want people to be aware of what the risks are.”

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