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What do I do if I catch Covid while on holiday in Switzerland?

It is no longer 2020 or even 2021, so the risk of having your vacation spoiled by a coronavirus infection while in Switzerland is slim. Here's what you need to know.

What do I do if I catch Covid while on holiday in Switzerland?
You are free to roam, even if you have Covid. Photo: Pixabay

Obviously, nobody wants to get sick while on holiday, especially as in the past getting the Covid infection resulted in inconveniences such as  isolation and quarantine.

That was the case when virulent variants like Alpha and Delta were dominant, making many people seriously ill.

However, that is no longer the case in rule-free Switzerland, at least for the time being.

Due to a lesser severity of the Omicron variant and non-existent restrictions, coronavirus is no longer a public health threat it used to be.

As Omicron — which had usurped Delta as a dominant strain at the end of 2021 — causes only mild symptoms in most people, all the previous health measures had been gradually lifted between February 17th and April 1st.

This includes the mask requirement, as well as the obligation to isolate for five days if you test positive to coronavirus.

Does the end of the latter of the two requirements mean you are no longer obligated to stay indoors if you catch Covid?

As The Local reported in a recent story, “legally there isn’t anything to prevent you from going out and about”.

There is, however, a thing called  ‘individual responsibility’ that has been mentioned so often during the pandemic.

“Even without an obligation to isolate, a sick person should not go out in public”, said  Patrick Mathys, head of crisis management at the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH).

READ MORE: Reader question: Do I have to stay home if I catch Covid in Switzerland after April 1st?

So what should you do if you test positive to Covid  while visiting Switzerland?

You have two choices: either you stay indoors so as not to spread the virus to other people, or you exercise your right to go out  regardless.

If you opt for the latter, be aware that you might be infecting vulnerable people, so wear a mask: this act would fall under the aforementioned ‘individual responsibility’ category, which is important to practice, even if you are a tourist and Switzerland is not your home.

However, keep in mind that if you have an active infection, with or without symptoms, you may not be able to return to your country, as some nations still have certain coronavirus measures in place.

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

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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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