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How Switzerland’s new Covid certificate rule could impact cross-border shopping

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 13 Sep, 2021 Updated Mon 13 Sep 2021 11:51 CEST
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The extension of the certificate from Monday could affect the unvaccinated residents of Switzerland who shop in France, Italy or Germany.

After implementing new, extended Covid certificate measures from September 13th, the Federal Council is now considering what rules should be applied to travellers entering Switzerland from September 20.

Two options are currently debated:

Under the first option, all unvaccinated arrivals or those who cannot show proof of having had the virus and recovered in the past six months, must show a negative test on arrival, regardless of where they come from. 

Between four and seven days after having arrived in Switzerland, another test needs to be taken. 

Both tests must be taken at the traveller’s expense. 

The second option would require these arrivals to quarantine for ten days, with people allowed to leave quarantine from the seventh day with a negative test result. 

The decision about which option the Federal Council will choose will be announced later in the week.

Will cross-border shoppers who are not vaccinated, tested, or recovered from Covid be affected by these new rules?

In principle, anyone who enters Switzerland after a stay abroad, is subject to the rules of the certificate extension.

"Exceptions are provided for cross-border commuters but not for people crossing the border for shopping or leisure”, according to Michael Gerber, head of the law division at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said.

"The adult population has had every opportunity to be vaccinated", FOPH said, adding that the regulations must apply to all entries whether by "plane, train, boat, bus, car, bicycle or foot".

Given that tests for unvaccinated people will be payable from October 1st, the usual shopping in neighbour countries may no longer be significantly cheaper.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Unvaccinated must pay for Covid tests in Switzerland from October

MPs agree that no exemptions should be made.

“Those who want to continue shopping abroad have the option of being tested or vaccinated," said deputy Philippe Nantermod.

"Society cannot indefinitely accommodate people who refuse to make any effort to get the community out of the crisis”, he added.

Another MP, Charles Juillard also supports restrictive measures for shoppers. “Anything that can get people to get vaccinated should be done”.

READ MORE: TODAY: Switzerland extends Covid certificate for entry to restaurants and bars




Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/09/13 11:51

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