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COVID-19

Switzerland promises Covid-19 passport ‘by the summer’

Swiss authorities have promised to put in place a coronavirus immunity passport - which entitles vaccinated people to various privileges - by summer.

Switzerland promises Covid-19 passport 'by the summer'
Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Swiss authorities promised to put in place a coronavirus immunity passport “by the summer”. 

Patrick Mathys, Head of the Crisis Management and International Cooperation Section at the Federal Office of Public Health, told the press that an internationally coordinated vaccine certificate would be available in the coming months, but could not provide specifics as to the exact nature of the plan and when it would be delivered. 

“We are working flat out to ensure that this Covid-19 certificate is available by the summer,” Mathys said. 

As reported by The Local Switzerland previously, the plan is likely to allow those who have been vaccinated, as well as people who have tested negative and who have recently had the disease, to take part in certain activities. 

‘Green pass’: Everything you need to know about the coronavirus immunity card in Switzerland

On a domestic level this is likely to include attending events, playing sport and visiting restaurants, while at an international level it will include travel. 

Switzerland has already indicated it will take part in the European Union’s Covid-19 passport project. 

Nassima Mehira, project manager for Switzerland’s Covid-19 certificate plan, said the goal was to develop a plan which was compatible with neighbouring countries, but would also be Swiss specific. 

“It will be in addition (to the European plan). We develop our solution and orient ourselves to developments in neighbouring countries so that it is then compatible. It’s not that there will be a single solution.”

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COVID-19

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?

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