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Switzerland Abolishes Pre-Departure Testing Requirement & Shortens Vaccination Certificates’ Validity

Swiss authorities have ended the requirement for pre-departure testing for travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID or have recovered from the virus in the last 270 days.

According to a press release from the Federal Council, the new rules will go into effect on Saturday, January 22, but will not stop them from being applied to arrivals who are not immune or who have not been recovered, which will continue to be subject to testing requirements to enter Switzerland, reports.

Moreover, the requirement to take a follow-up test on days 4-7 upon arrival has also been abolished, which means that the “3G” rule that applies in Germany and Austria is also valid in Swiss territory.

Since August 10, the German government has imposed so-called “3G” which means that public places are open only to those who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested (geimpft, genesen, getestet).

The 3G document can be used to enter restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms, zoos, sporting events, hospitals and planes for travel.

In addition, the Passenger Locator Locator Form (PLF) must only be completed by those traveling to Switzerland by plane or on the bus for long-distance destinations.

Moreover, the Federal Council reduced the period of validity of vaccination and recovery certificates from 365 to 270 days (nine months), and the decision enters into force on January 31.

Except for measures affecting travel, the Swiss authorities have imposed several national rules such as shortening the contact quarantine requirement until the end of February only, which applies to people living in the same household as infected individuals or those who are in close contact with the latter.

Moreover, the requirement to work from home until the end of February will remain in force, in addition to other measures that will be imposed until the end of March. The next decision on the procedures will be made on February 2, two weeks from now.

“Based on the outcome of the consultation, the Federal Council does not make any further changes regarding isolation rules, the imposition of stricter masks or a ban on face-to-face teaching in institutions of higher education,” the press release explained.

Furthermore, Swiss residents will not be able to host large events or other gatherings with a cap of 50 people participating in clubs, discos and other indoor events. Moreover, as of January 25, the requirement to provide contact details has been rescinded due to the limited imposed contact quarantine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that during the past seven days, Switzerland recorded 136,957 new infections and 51 deaths.

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