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Swiss Tighten Rules for Unvaccinated Travelers to Halt Case Rise

This content was published on September 17, 2021 - 13:05

(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland is toughening the rules for unvaccinated travelers after returning holidaymakers over the summer drove a rise in Covid-19 infections. 

Those who aren’t inoculated or haven’t recovered from the virus will need to present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival as of Sept. 20, the government said. They will then need to get another test after four to seven days. 

The country, which has stood out among European neighbors for its generally more laissez-faire approach to the pandemic, this week began requiring Covid certificates to enter restaurants, cinemas and fitness centers. The move stoked some public ire, particularly among the political right, with protests in the capital of Bern in recent days. 

Still, the expanded use of the certificate, which attests that the holder has been jabbed, tested or has recovered from the virus, also increased demand for vaccinations. Just 61% of the Swiss public has had at least one shot, a rate well below the 77% in neighboring France and 67% in Germany. 

Covid certificates will now also be available to people who have been inoculated outside of Switzerland with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, the government said on Friday. 

Its new travel rules also stipulate that everyone arriving in the country fills out a passenger locater form, permitting authorities to conduct spot checks. 

Drug authority Swissmedic said earlier this week it had received applications from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. for booster shots. Switzerland is currently negotiating with Johnson & Johnson to buy a “small amount” of vaccines for those who on medical grounds cannot be inoculated with an mRNA product, a spokeswoman for the Federal Office of Public Health said. 

 

 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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