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LIVING IN SWITZERLAND

Switzerland to remove United Kingdom, India and Nepal from Covid variant list

Switzerland will remove Great Britain, India and Nepal from the Covid variant list on Wednesday.

Switzerland to remove United Kingdom, India and Nepal from Covid variant list
Switzerland will remove Great Britain, India and Nepal from the Covid variant list on Wednesday. Photo: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

The Swiss government’s relaxation of travel-related Covid measures has continued, with the Federal Office of Public Health saying on Tuesday it will remove all remaining countries from the “virus variant of concern list”. 

This change will come into effect on August 4th. 

READ MORE: How does a country ever get off Switzerland’s ‘variant’ list?

As at August 3rd, India, Nepal and the United Kingdom are on the list. 

What does the removal of these countries from the list mean? 

Put simply, it makes it easier for people from these countries to come to Switzerland. 

This applies both to Swiss citizens and residents who may have travelled to these countries, as well as people from these countries who are visiting Switzerland for various reasons. 

Prior to the change, people arriving from these areas who have been vaccinated within the past 12 months or recovered from Covid within the past six months — and can prove it — can enter Switzerland without any obligation to test or quarantine.

All others arriving from these areas had to show a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result and then go into quarantine. 

From August 4th, the same rules will apply to people from these countries as elsewhere. 

READ MORE: Who can enter Switzerland right now? 

Those who are vaccinated or recovered from the virus (and can prove it) can now enter without tests or quarantine. 

If you have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, you will need to present a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or a negative rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours) before boarding your flight to Switzerland

More information is available at the following official government page. 

Anyone wanting to enter Switzerland can use this official Swiss government tool to work out if they can – and what rules they must comply with. 

‘Travelcheck’: This tool shows you what you need to enter Switzerland

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TRAIN TRAVEL

Five European cities you can reach from Zurich in less than five hours by train

Switzerland is a beautiful country, but it also has a great location right in the centre of Europe, making it an ideal starting point for train travel. Here are five destinations you can reach in less than five hours from Zurich.

Five European cities you can reach from Zurich in less than five hours by train

As summer is still in full swing and there are many vacation days (or free weekends) to enjoy the sunny weather, it’s not the wrong time to do some travelling. Switzerland is a beautiful country, but it’s also centrally located in Europe. This means that many major European cities are reachable in just a few hours.

If you are located in Zurich, for example, then you are very near Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria. In less than five hours, visiting beautiful cities in these five countries is possible by taking a comfortable train ride.

So, select your final destination, get your ticket, and enjoy the ride.

READ ALSO: Switzerland’s ten most beautiful villages you have to visit

From Zurich to Strasbourg

It will take you just about 2 hours and 30 minutes (including time to stop and change trains in Basel) to get from Zurich’s mains station to the beautiful and historical city of Strasbourg, in northeast France.

Prices vary depending on several factors, but we found one-way tickets for just around CHF 23 on a Friday.

From Zurich to Munich

The capital of Bavaria can be reached from Zurich’s central station on a direct train in just 3 hours 30 minutes, allowing for short stays.

Munich may seem quite far away on a map, but the fast trains without stopovers actually make the journey quick and pleasant. We found one-way tickets for around CHF 70 on a Friday trip.

From Zurich to Vaduz

The capital of Liechtenstein is easy to reach in less than 2 hours from the Zurich central station. In fact, some journeys will take just about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The lovely town bordering Switzerland has many tourist attractions, from its pedestrian historical centre to castles and parks. Train ticket prices always vary, but we found tickets for a one-way journey on a Friday costing CHF 20.

READ ALSO: Travel: What are the best night train routes to and from Switzerland?

From Zurich to Milan

Depending on the train you take, you can get from Zurich to Italy’s fashion capital in three to four hours with a direct train.

Before 2016, when the Gotthard Base Tunnel was opened to rail traffic, a trip from Zurich to Milan took an hour longer. It’s possible to find tickets for about CHF 70 for a one-way trip on a Friday.

From Zurich to Innsbruck

From Zurich, it is possible to hop on a direct train and, in just over 3 hours and 30 minutes, arrive in the beautiful town of Innsbruck, in the mountains of Tyrol.

Ticket costs vary, but we found tickets for a relatively short-notice one-way trip on a Friday (without discounts) for CHF 84.

READ ALSO: Five beautiful Swiss villages located near Alpine lakes

Cost:

Fares depend on several factors, such as time of the day and day of the week when you travel.

While a rock-bottom cheap fare may be available one day in the morning, it won’t necessarily be offered the next day (or week) in the afternoon, or vice-versa.

Prices also depend on whether you are entitled to any discounts and which wagon you choose.

If you are interested in travelling farther afield, including with night trains, or if you are in other Swiss cities, these articles provide more information:

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