August 16, 2022

Switzerland: no quarantine for ski travellers making short connections

Following Switzerland’s announcement that all British travellers will have to quarantine for 10 days after arrival in the country, it has clarified that anyone transiting onward to another country in less than 24 hours, with no stopover, can avoid isolation.

The decision is a relief for the many ski holidaymakers who had planned to fly into a Swiss airport such as Geneva, and travel onward to a ski resort in neighbouring France or Italy.

Switzerland had made the quarantine announcement on Saturday, but by Monday it was unclear whether connecting travellers would also face a 10 day self-isolation period on arrival.

The clarification was made in an update to the Foreign Office guidelines for entry to Switzerland yesterday.

“Following the update of a Swiss ordinance on 30 November, there is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover,” reads the current FCDO advice.

“If you are transiting Switzerland, you are strongly advised to have your onward travel booked in advance and to have confirmed you meet the entry requirements of your destination country (you may be asked to provide proof of your onward travel and accommodation). If you are transiting by air, you must complete an online form and provide contact details,” it continues.

All UK arrivals to Switzerland must now present proof of full vaccination and a negative PCR test result (taken within the previous 72 hours) or antigen test result (taken within the previous 48 hours), and most must then go into self-isolation for 10 days.

But holidaymakers journeying on to a neighbouring country, such as France or Italy, may avoid isolation as long as their journey there does not exceed 24 hours.

Swiss nationals travelling from the UK and staying in the country must also self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, regardless of vaccination status.

The country imposed the quarantine requirements on travellers from the UK after the newly identified omicron variant was detected there.

As of Tuesday, the UK had recorded 22 cases linked with the variant.

Countries around the world are closing borders and tightening restrictions in response to fears that the omicron could be more transmissible than previous iterations, with the ability to reduce the efficacy of current coronavirus vaccines.

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