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Is Switzerland likely to place new restrictions on travel from the US?

Is Switzerland likely to place new restrictions on travel from the US?
Whether or not US tourists can continue coming to Switzerland remains up in the air. Photo by Zurich Airport.
On August 30th, The European Union recommended tighter restrictions on American tourists. Will Switzerland follow suit?

The EU removed the US, along with five other countries and one territory from its ‘safe travel’ list on August 30th. This means visitors from those nations, particularly people who are not fully vaccinated against Covid, could face tighter restrictions on travel to Europe.

The date when the new rules would be implemented, and the exact nature of new restrictions, have not yet been given.

The EU based its decision on “the epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19”. It also took into account reciprocity, in other words, how countries treat travellers from EU countries. The US still bars non-essential travel from Europe.

READ MORE: EU recommends tighter restrictions on American tourists as US removed from Covid safe travel list

Will Switzerland introduce restrictions for US tourists as well?

Residents of the United States are able to come to Switzerland since June 26th, provided they are fully inoculated against coronavirus and have documents to prove it.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Switzerland confirms vaccinated Americans and Brits can enter from June 26th

So far, authorities have not said whether Switzerland will follow the European Union’s lead, especially as it is non-binding and each country is free to set its own entry rules.

However, it seems unlikely that Switzerland would be able to circumvent EU’s regulations.

While not in the Union, the country is nevertheless part of the Schengen zone, which would make it difficult, if not impossible, to implement any international travel rules that differ from those in place in the 25 other Schengen area states.

Currently, Switzerland has only two rules in place for US travellers: full vaccination, as well as a QR code obtained by filling out the passenger locator form prior to boarding the plane.

This measure is applied not only to US tourists, but also to Swiss citizens and permanent residents returning from the United States.

Whether or not American tourists will want to come to Switzerland in the first place, regardless of regulations, remains to be seen in view of a new travel alert the US State Department issued on August 30th for travel to Switzerland.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Switzerland due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country”, the State Department said.

This alert was issued regardless of the fact that Switzerland’s infection rate currently stands at 397.3 per 100,000 residents, while in the US that number is 672.98.

READ MORE: Travel: What documents do tourists need to visit Switzerland?


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