After reports of the new strain of the COVID-19 virus, the Swiss authorities, since Friday, November 26, have tightened entry rules for 23 EU member states and third countries in an effort to mitigate the spread of infection.
Starting today, November 30, arrivals from Canada, Japan, Nigeria and Portugal will be subject to stricter entry rules upon arrival in Switzerland due to public safety concerns related to Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant, TheSchengen.com reports.
Earlier, Portugal announced that it had detected the first cases of the Omicron variant linked to players from the Belenenses SAD football club. Later, the country’s health authorities confirmed 13 positive cases related to the new variant.
Moreover, the Swiss authorities have provided two lists with different entry requirements, one of which is being prepared by the Federal Office of Public Health.
This list identifies countries that require a ten-day quarantine for arrivals entering Switzerland from different regions for the virus, including the United Kingdom and member states of the European Union.
On the other hand, the other list, prepared by the State Secretariat for Immigration (SEM), includes high-risk countries, from which entrants are prohibited from traveling to Switzerland, and this list consists of Botswana, Eswatini, Hong Kong, Israel and Lesotho. Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Switzerland has also banned flights from the South African region
In other words, these measures were introduced throughout the weekend as, on November 26, the Swiss authorities announced a temporary ban on direct flights from the South African region, including countries such as Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. .
In addition, entry restrictions have been imposed on arrivals from Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong, the latter of which has been completely removed from the EU’s safe travel list. Subsequently, other EU member states, such as the Czech Republic, banned arrivals from Hong Kong in an effort to reduce the spread of the new strain of the COVID-19 virus.
Only Swiss citizens and holders of residence permits in Switzerland and the EU/Schengen area returning from these countries are allowed to enter Swiss territory.
The Swiss authorities have added the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and 3 other countries to the list of diverse regions
Moreover, on Saturday, November 27, the entry quarantine requirement was introduced for those coming from the UK, Egypt, Malawi, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. All of these countries have recently reported positive cases of the virus strain.
In addition, Dutch authorities have confirmed 13 positive cases with the variant, while 14 positive cases have appeared in the UK.
Stricter entry rules have been imposed on Denmark, Angola, Australia and Zambia
Two days after imposing entry bans on several countries, on Monday, November 29, Swiss authorities added four more countries in the regions of the changing virus, including Angola, Australia, Denmark and Zambia. Countries were added to this list due to concerns surrounding the Omicron variant.
“The Omicron variant has also been detected in Angola, Australia, Zambia and Denmark. People from these countries must submit a negative COVID-19 test upon boarding and entry to Switzerland and then self-quarantine for ten days.”
>> Traveling to Switzerland in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: a complete guide
About 28,427 positive cases have been reported in Switzerland in the past seven days, but no cases of the Omicron variant have appeared in the country so far. However, two cases have been reported in Germany and Italy, both of which are neighboring countries of Switzerland.