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Everything that changes in Switzerland in October 2021

Everything that changes in Switzerland in October 2021
What changes in October 2021 in Switzerland? Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash
From the weather to the Covid rules, here's what changes October has in store in Switzerland.

Covid testing will no longer be free for the unvaccinated

All unvaccinated people would have to pay 50 francs for their own Covid tests from October 10th.

President Guy Parmelin explained this move by saying vaccinated taxpayers should not have to pay for testing for those who choose not to get inoculated.

“Following extensive discussions, the Federal Council stands by its assessment that it is not up to the public as a whole to finance the cost of tests for people who decide not to get vaccinated”, authorities said, adding that “people who have already received one dose of vaccine can continue to get tested free of charge until the end of November”.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Switzerland extends free testing deadline

New rules on entering the UK from Switzerland

Switzerland is currently on the UK’s ‘green list’, which is the lowest risk category that the UK government has. 

From October 4th, the rules will change for residents of Switzerland arriving in the United Kingdom.

Until October 4th, before you travel to England you must:

  • Take a COVID-19 pre-departure test – you must take the test in the 3 days before you travel to England
  • Book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • Complete a passenger locator form
  • After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2.

After October 4th, vaccinated travellers from the rest of the world list will not have to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests. Day 2 tests will still be required. 

More information about the new rules is on this site.

READ MORE: What are the rules for travel between Switzerland and the UK?

Car stickers

While officially taking place on September 28th, drivers leaving the UK and heading to Europe will need to whack a new sticker on the back of their cars. 

While previously a ‘GB’ sticker was sufficient, from this date onwards the sticker now needs to read ‘UK’ in order for it to be valid, after the UK changed the rules. 

More information about the changing sticker requirement can be found here

Fall festivals abound

Days may be getting shorter in October, but it is also the month when Swiss vintners are harvesting their grapes.

Wine-tasting and harvest festivals are plentiful all over Switzerland and well worth a visit before cold weather drives people indoors.

Here’s a list of the places to visit in October.

A winery in the Swiss region of Lavaux. Photo by Jonathan Loosli on Unsplash

Daylight Saving Time ends

A sure sign that the warm and sunny weather is over is having to wind the clocks back ahead of the coming winter. 

On Sunday, October 31st, clocks in Switzerland will be turned back one hour at 3am.

This means sunrise and sunset will be about one hour earlier.

The good news is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. The bad news is that it’s going to get darker earlier in the evening. 

The long-term future of daylight savings in Switzerland remains in flux, but you can be sure that the clocks will at least be wound back one final time this October


Member comments

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  1. I believe that the travel rules stated above are in fact those in force until 4th October and that different rules apply from 4th October. The Link provided shows the new rules – no pre travel test required if fully vaccinated by an approved vaccine in Europe (including Switzerland).

    Here’s an extract from the Gov web site:

    “ Under the new rules, you will not need to:

    take a pre-departure test
    take a day 8 COVID-19 test
    quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England”

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