Late on 20 December 2020, the Swiss government decided to suspend flights to Switzerland from the UK and South Africa following news of the discovery a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The decision by the Swiss government follows similar decisions by Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherland. Air, road, rail and maritime links are to be suspended too.
The suspension starts at midnight on Sunday, 20 December 2020 and airports and airlines have been notified.
The new coronavirus variant appears to be more contagious than previous ones. Switzerland’s Covid task force described the new variant as highly problematic. Switzerland is at risk because of its already stretched health system.
On Saturday, British prime minister Boris Johnson said initial data suggested the new variant circulating in London and South East England is up to 70% more contagious than previous variants. UK health officials said there was no evidence that the new variant was more deadly, however, many questions remain.
According to a report by RTS, the new variant has not yet been detected in Switzerland. However, this does not mean that it has not arrived in Switzerland
Over 60 flights and around 10,000 British tourists have already arrived in Geneva from the UK this weekend, reported RTS.