Switzerland is the latest European country to announce the removal of travel restrictions, after assessing that due to the high level of immunity in the population, there is a low risk that the health care system may be overburdened despite the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The Swiss Federal Council announced the decision in a February 16 press release, noting that the country’s new travel rules and other simplified measures would come into effect the next day, February 17.
“Procedures regarding the health of people entering the country will be lifted. The Council announced that it will no longer be necessary to provide evidence of vaccination, cure, negative test or complete the registration form.
At its meeting on Wednesday, the council also decided to stop issuing COVID certificates valid only in Switzerland, which were introduced last fall for local use. However, EU-compliant COVID certificates will continue to be issued as many EU and Schengen area countries still require such certificates to enter their territory.
“The cantons will, as requested, continue to be able to enforce certification requirements,” the press release read.
Another measure that will be removed is the obligation to wear a mask to enter stores, restaurants, cultural venues, public places and other events. The obligation to wear a mask in workplaces, as well as the recommendation to work from home, has also been cancelled.
However, the obligation to isolate in the event of a positive COVID-19 test result, as well as the obligation to wear a mask on public transport, in hospitals and other health care institutions, will remain in effect until the end of March.
TheSchengen.com warned Switzerland’s move to remove the majority of COVID-19 restrictions at the beginning of the month when the obligation to work from home was removed and started to be implemented only as a recommendation.
Previously, on January 22, Switzerland scrapped the requirement for pre-departure testing for travelers who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 or had recovered from the virus in the last 270 days.
The decision to remove the majority of restrictions by the Swiss Federal Council comes after other similar decisions by the European Union and the countries of the Schengen area, which in the past weeks removed a large part of the restrictions, confirming that the COVID-19 situation is no longer a concern. .
Among these countries is also Lithuania. Since February 15, Lithuanian authorities have removed travel restrictions for all arrivals from EU and EEA countries, including those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who have not recovered from the virus.
>> These are the latest EU/Schengen countries to remove COVID-19 testing obligation for travelers