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TRAVEL NEWS

What Covid rules are in place in these common Swiss Easter destinations?

Though Switzerland has scrapped travel rules for some foreigners, other countries still have certain restrictions in place. This is what you should know before venturing abroad this Easter.

What Covid rules are in place in these common Swiss Easter destinations?
Wherever you are off to this Easter, know what the rules are. Photo: Pixabay

In comparison to last two Easters, when foreign travel was either not possible or restricted, this year has a whiff of freedom to it.

No wonder so many Swiss residents are heading to foreign destinations this week, as evidenced by heavy traffic on Switzerland’s main motorways.

However, keep in mind that, unlike Switzerland, which no longer has any entry rules for people arriving from EU / EFTA states, other countries still have some measures in place.

For instance, while Covid certificate is not needed within Switzerland, it is required — valid for 270 days from the date of issue — in a number of other nations.

This is the current situation in the most popular holiday destinations, starting with neighbouring countries.

Austria

You need a Covid certificate to enter Austria.

Also, FFP2 masks are still mandatory in all indoor venues and on public transport. At events attended by more than 100 people, either the mask or the 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered and tested) is compulsory. Vienna imposes one additional rule: 2G (vaccinated or recovered) for restaurants and clubs.

Take FFP2 masks if you are going to Austria. Photo: Pixabay

France

Proof of vaccination administered within the last 270 days or a negative test is needed to enter the country.

Masks (not necessarily FFP2s) are required only in health establishments and on public transport.

Germany

You will need a Covid certificate or negative test to enter until April 28th.

Masks are required on public transport and in indoor venues.

In addition, some federal states, including Hamburg, have the 2G Plus rule for clubs.

Italy

Like its neighbour Austria, Italy mandates  FFP2 masks on public transport and  in indoor areas. In addition, closed venues like restaurants and clubs require a “Super Green Pass“, while a 3G certificate is mandatory to enter the country.

What about countries farther afield?

Spain

You need either a Covid certificate or a negative test to enter.

Masks remain compulsory in indoor places and on public transport until April 19th.

Masks are required on public transport in Spain. Photo: Kirill Lazarev on Pexels

Turkey

Proof of vaccination or recovery within the last six months is needed to enter, or a negative test result.

Masks are no longer required indoors if there is adequate air circulation and ventilation, in addition to social distancing rules.

And what about the UK?

These are the current regulations:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel.
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from having to do this.

Other rules for UK-bound travellers can be found here:

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

There are the current rules in holiday destinations most visited by Swiss tourists.

If you are going to another location, find out what entry regulations and measures are in place from official sources such the country’s embassy in Switzerland .

By the same token, while the above rules are valid at the time this article is written (April 12th, 2022), they could change very quickly so inform yourself before you travel.

READ MORE: OPINION: Trains are in fashion so why is rail travel across Europe still so difficult?

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TRAVEL NEWS

10 francs: Everything you need to know about Flixtrain’s Basel to Berlin line

In early May, German transport provider Flixtrain announced it would begin running services from Basel to Berlin (and back) from June. Here’s what you need to know.

10 francs: Everything you need to know about Flixtrain's Basel to Berlin line

German transport provider Flixtrain has announced it will launch in Switzerland from June 23rd. The low-cost provider is offering 10 franc (10 euro) tickets from Basel to Berlin, among other cheap fares.

The low-cost company, which has been establishing itself Deutsche Bahn’s major competitor Germany over the past few years, runs long distance bus and train services. 

When will the services run?

The lines to and from Basel run from Thursday to Monday, with one connection per day in either direction. 

It will take 8 hours and 45 minutes from Basel Badischer Bahnhof to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. 

A trip with the German ICE will instead take just over 7 hours. 

The new line is part of an expansion of services which is set to include around 70 destinations in Germany. 

OK but will it really cost CHF10?

The price of the ticket grabbed headlines, with Flixtrain saying in its press conference that the almost-nine-hour trip would only cost CHF10 (10 euro). 

Flixtrain spokesperson Sebastian Meyer told Swiss news outlet Watson that tickets would start at CHF10, but more expensive tickets would be available when the CHF10 offerings were sold out. 

“If the cheapest ticket contingent is sold out, the next higher one takes effect. In this way, we can always offer our passengers cheap tickets. Affordable prices are still possible due to the corresponding utilisation of the individual trips.”

In order to get the cheapest possible fare, travellers are advised to book early. 

REVEALED: How to find cheap train tickets in Switzerland

Tickets between Basel and Berlin can cost as high as CHF150 or 160 euros from Switzerland’s SBB or Germany’s Deutsche Bahn respectively, although booking in advance can bring the price down to as low as CHF30. 

Where will the train to (and from) Berlin stop?

In either direction, the train will stop at: Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Offenburg, Freiburg, Wiesloch, Bad Hersfeld and Weil am Rhein. 

What else is different about Flixtrain?

Other than being bright lime green, Flixtrains allow you to take your bicycle with you, which is not allowed on most ICE long-distance trains in Germany. 

Are there any other destinations within Switzerland? 

As yet, Basel will be the only Swiss destination. The other two new routes are Stuttgart to Hamburg and Berlin to Weisbaden. 

In addition to the 10 franc (10 euro) ticket from Basel to Berlin, other journeys within Germany will start at 5 francs (5 euros). 

More information is available from Flixtrain at the following link. 

The expanded routes can be seen in the following image. 

A look at Flixtrain’s route network in 2022. Map: Flixtrain

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