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Fully vaccinated people to be exempt from quarantine in Switzerland

Fully vaccinated people to be exempt from quarantine in Switzerland
Under certain conditions, vaccinated people will be exempted from quarantine. Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP
Those who have had their Covid shots will soon be exempted from having to quarantine, Swiss officials say. Here’s what we know about the plan.

People who have received both shots of the vaccine will not have to quarantine after being in contact with an infected person, according to Christoph Berger, president of the Federal Commission for Vaccination Issues. 

Up to now, anyone who has been exposed to the virus must quarantine for 10 days, although this period can be shortened to seven days if a Covid test is negative.

As yet, this does not apply to quarantines put in place for people returning from ‘high risk’ areas. This may follow at a later date, Swiss media reports

READ MORE: Which countries are currently on Switzerland’s quarantine list?

There are, however, some conditions attached to the quarantine exemption:

Only people inoculated with a mRNA vaccine will be able to benefit from this measure. 

Swiss health experts believe that vaccines based on this technology, “are very effective and also very safe”, Steve Pascolo, an immunologist at Zurich’s university hospital, said in an interview.

And as both vaccines currently used in Switzerland – Moderna and Pfizer/Biontech — are based on mRNA technology, this particular criteria is easy to meet.

Fourteen days must pass after the second vaccination before you can be exempted from the quarantine.

That’s because it typically takes about two weeks for the body to build up sufficient immunity. Before that, you can, at least in theory, still become contaminated with the virus.

Only people who have been vaccinated no longer than six months can forego quarantine. 

Little is known at this point about the duration of the post-vaccine immunity.

Researchers believe it lasts at least six months, maybe longer. But to be on the safe side, authorities set six months as a cut-off date for people to take advantage of the eased measure. 

“After the six months have elapsed, according to the current state of knowledge, the protective effect can no longer be proven beyond doubt”, Berger said.

“The regular evaluation of the data will show whether the duration of the quarantine exemption can be extended,” he added.

The exemption doesn’t cover travel-related quarantine.

For the time being, the new regulation will extend only to those who have been in contact with an infected person. 

Travellers coming to Switzerland from countries at risk will still have to quarantine because “the procedure for travel quarantine has not yet been regulated”,  Berger said.

You will need a confirmation of vaccination, including dates, to qualify for the exemption. 

If you are ordered to quarantine, this document — which every vaccinated person in Switzerland automatically receives —  can be used to prove your status.

The new rule is not in effect yet. 

However, the plan “will be finalised in the next few days and can then be implemented by the cantons”, Berger said on Tuesday, April 20th.  

READ MORE: Switzerland to remove United States and United Kingdom from quarantine list


Member comments

  1. Will cross border workers be excluded from quarantine irrespective of the type of vaccination they have had?

  2. Does that mean that if we are thinking about a vacation at the end of the year or early next year, that it is best to delay vaccination?

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