Switzerland will not require Covid certificate for winter sports
The Swiss government agreed with ski resorts on Tuesday afternoon that the Covid certificate will not be required to hit the ski slopes this winter.
The agreement came after a long debate about which protective measures should be introduced in the coming season, Swiss news outlet Blick reported on Tuesday.
The main question was whether the Covid certificate would be required in chairlifts or on the slopes in general.
The government said on Tuesday that it was confident the upcoming season would be safe despite not requiring the Covid certificate.
Switzerland’s Covid certificate demonstrates that the holder has either been vaccinated, has recovered from the virus recently or has tested negative.
The Covid certificate will not be required on the slopes or to take chairlifts.
Ski areas are however free to put in place a Covid certificate requirement if they deem it appropriate.
It will however be required in bars and restaurants in the ski area, although people eating and drinking on terraces and balconies will not need a valid certificate.
Masks will be required in chairlifts and on mountain railways and cable cars, the Federal Office of Public Health confirmed on Tuesday.
This therefore means the rules in these areas reflect those in public transport.
Will these rules be in place throughout the winter?
When making the announcement, the government was careful to reiterate that it had the final word on whether to change, i.e. tighten, the rules on the ski slopes.
Rudolf Hauri, President of the Association of Cantonal Doctors, indicated he was uncertain about whether the decision to not require Covid certificates was the right one - and suggested it would be subject to review.
“As of now, I can't tell you whether it's the right way. That remains to be seen, I think the last word has not yet been said in this case."
At the same press conference, government spokespeople said more needed to be done to boost the country's flagging vaccination rate.