As of 8pm on November 27th, the UK – along with Czech Republic, Netherlands, Egypt and Malawi – was added to the list of countries with a variant of concern.
Travellers from the UK will be required to show a negative test result and quarantine for 10 days, even if they are vaccinated or have recovered from the virus.
They will also to report to the cantonal authority and then take another PCR test between four and seven days after arrival.
“The cantonal authority must be informed of the result of the second test and the number of the entry form must be sent,” Swiss authorities say.
You can find the contact details for cantonal authorities here.
Countries across Europe are ramping up restrictions in a bid to stem the spread of the newly discovered Omicron variant of the virus.
Why the confusion – and what are the rules?
However Switzerland has not banned all arrivals from the UK as as initially reported.
Switzerland keeps two separate lists relating to entry rules. One, prepared by the Federal Office of Public Health and available here, lists countries with a variant of concern. Entry from countries on that list – which includes the United Kingdom – requires a ten-day quarantine.
The other, prepared by the State Secretariat for Migration and available here, lists high-risk countries from which entry is not possible, unless you are a Swiss citizen or resident. The United Kingdom is not on this list.
However, when the announcement was made by the Swiss government on Saturday, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health website appeared to confuse the two lists, saying that entry was banned from countries with a variant of concern, other than for Swiss citizens and residents.
While the website has since been updated to correct the error, the following screenshot shows the government’s original statement, from which The Local’s reporting was based.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, it appears that some details were released before policies were finalised.
As at Monday evening, November 29th, the Swiss government’s interactive ‘Travelcheck’ website – which provides tailored advice to individuals on the basis of the country they are arriving from and their vaccination status – had been taken down.
As can be seen in the following screenshot, message appeared under the Travelcheck URL telling people to visit the FOPH and SEM websites for more information.