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Switzerland added to UK’s Covid travel green list

Good news for people planning to travel to the United Kingdom: entry rules for residents of Switzerland will get easier from Monday.

Switzerland added to UK’s Covid travel green list
Travelling from Switzerland to the UK is about to get easier. Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP

Starting on August 30th at 4 am, travellers from Switzerland will no longer have to quarantine when arriving in the United Kingdom, regardless of their vaccination status — though they have to take a pre-departure test and another one two days after arrival, and also complete a passenger locator form.

UPDATED: Who can travel to Switzerland right now?

Switzerland, along with six other nations, is moved from amber to the “safe” green list “as the risk that travel from these countries poses to public health in the UK is low”, the Department of Transport announced on Thursday.

“We’ve updated our travel lists further cautiously easing international travel”, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said of the less restrictive measures.

This is the latest in the often-changing travel regulations implemented by the UK.

On July 28th, the UK government allowed fully vaccinated travellers from most of Europe — including Switzerland — to skip quarantine when arriving in England, Scotland and Wales, although tests were still required.

READ MORE: UK to allow fully vaccinated travellers from Europe to skip quarantine (but not tests)

Then, on August 13th, authorities changed the rules again, imposing quarantine on arrivals from Europe who received mixed vaccine doses, a practice that is common across Europe but not in Switzerland.

READ MORE: UK changes travel rules again to impose quarantine on European arrivals who had mixed vaccine doses

As things stand now, this is what you need to have when arriving in the UK on or after August 30th:

These rules apply to all the arrivals, including British citizens.

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TRAVEL NEWS

SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

The Swiss pilots’ union could go on strike during Switzerland’s busy autumn holiday period.

SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

The union, Aeropers, which has been negotiating salary increases and improved working conditions with Switzerland’s national airline, has rejected the carrier’s latest collective labour agreement (CLA) and is threatening to go on strike.

The  (CLA) is a kind of contract that is negotiated between Switzerland’s trade unions and employers or employer organisations. Generally speaking, they cover a minimum wage for each type of work; regulations relating to work hours; payment of wages in the event of illness or maternity; vacation and days off; and protection against dismissal.

READ MORE : What is a Swiss collective bargaining agreement — and how could it benefit you?

The pilots said they would cease flying on October 17th, which falls in the middle of school holidays in a number of cantons — the period when many families holiday abroad.

“SWISS has not sufficiently entered into the matter of the legitimate interests of its pilots”, Aeropers said, adding that if the airline doesn’t come up with a better offer, the union “will initiate the procedures for a strike”.

For its part, SWISS said in a press release that it offered its pilots 60 million francs more than on the previous CLA, but “Aeropers executive committee has rejected this latest offer as inadequate, and has made demands of its own totalling over 200 million”.

However, Aeropers head Thomas Steffen has denied SWISS’ claim saying the 200-million figure is “a fantasy number” that has no basis whatsoever. According to Steffen, the pilots’ demand was “significantly less than half of this sum”.

He went on to accuse the airline of “propaganda” at the detriment of its employees”.

He added that the strike would me a last-resort measure if the dispute on pay, which has been going on for a year, is not resolved within a month.

“We’ve negotiated for a year and made sure that our members are level-headed and fly safely and reliably, despite being without a contract,” Steffen said.

If the SWISS cockpit staff, which also includes its sister airline, Edelweiss, does go on strike, it will be the latest labour dispute in Europe’s aviation, which includes a strike by Lufthansa ground crew, which impacted Switzerland over the summer.

However, strikes by Swiss workers is relatively uncommon compared to other countries.

READ MORE: Why are strikes so rare in Switzerland?

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