Switzerland will soon join the list of countries reopening their borders to vaccinated travelers from the U.S. or Canada.
The Swiss government recently said it is “very pleased” to announce that Switzerland plans to open its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and Canada beginning June 28. Fully vaccinated travelers from those countries won’t need to quarantine or provide a negative COVID-19 test either.
“I’m not only thrilled but also feel quite emotional that we finally can go back to what we do best: host guests from North America in our magnificent country,” Claudio Zemp of Switzerland Tourism said in a statement. “I have long believed that Switzerland, with its small boutique towns, rustic villages dotted along picturesque valleys, and wide-open alpine landscapes, is the natural choice for a post-COVID-19 holiday. Now that the borders will be open, together with everybody in the Swiss Tourism Industry, we can’t wait to welcome each one of you.”
What The Announcement Means
Here’s how travel to Switzerland will work. All travelers entering Switzerland from North America must do two things. First, they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Then they must complete an online form from Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health.
Switzerland has also eased COVID-19 restrictions for businesses and hotels.
Restaurants are generally open; however, there are some precautions in place. For instance, tables will be fenced off or spaced apart as appropriate. While masks are not required at the table, anyone moving around the restaurant — both indoors and outside — must wear a mask.
A face mask must also be worn on all public transportation — including mountain railways and premium panoramic trains. A face mask must also be worn in train stations, on platforms, and in waiting areas, as well.
Events with an audience are now possible — although there are restrictions. For instance, capacity in a cinema, theater, or indoor concert venue will be limited to either 100 people or half the facility’s capacity. Outdoor events, such as concerts and football matches, will be limited to 300 people or half of the venue’s capacity. Masks and social distancing are required at all events.
COVID-19 in Switzerland
COVID-19 is still present in Switzerland. From February to April, COVID-19 infection rates increased due to the emergence of new variants. Since then, however, the new caseload stabilized and then slowed.
What’s more, the country’s vaccination rollout has accelerated — and between 60,000 and 90,000 vaccinations are being administered daily, their government explains. Indeed, more than 5.8 million COVID-vaccine doses were administered between late December and June 9. More than 25 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Know Before You Go
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “Level 3: High Level of COVID-19” alert for Switzerland. You can learn more about CDC guidelines here. You can also learn more about how restaurants, businesses, and public transportation in Switzerland are taking steps to stay safe here.