On 23 June 2021, Switzerland’s government announced that it was loosening a wide range of Covid-19 restrictions from Saturday.
From Saturday, 26 June 2021 rules on nightclubs, large events, remote working, education and restaurants will be loosened. In addition, it will become easier for travellers to enter Switzerland.
The key changes include:
- No limit on the number of people per table at restaurants.
- No restrictions on face-to-face teaching at higher education institutions.
- No requirement to wear masks or keep a distance during cultural and sporting activities, and no distinction between professionals and amateurs.
- Requirement to work from home downgraded to a recommendation
- The requirement to wear masks in outdoor areas of publicly accessible venues, leisure facilities and restaurant terraces will be lifted, although masks must still be worn where it is not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5m.
- Requirement to wear masks at work and in upper secondary level schools lifted.
- No restrictions on capacity or the number of people with valid COVID certificates attending large-scale events and nightclubs. And no requirement to wear masks.
Shops, leisure and sporting facilities will be able to make full use of their available capacity. Water parks may also reopen. However, a restriction of two-thirds’ capacity will apply to events and venues where no COVID certificate is required.
The limit on the number of people allowed to sit at a table at restaurants will be lifted. Guests must still remain seated indoors and the distance between guest groups must still be respected. Contact details must still be recorded, but only for one person per group. Masks must still be worn, apart from when seated. The limit on the size of guest groups outdoors is to be lifted and guests will no longer have to be seated. The distance between guest groups must still be respected. Contact details no longer need to be recorded for guests outdoors.
Clubs and discos will be allowed to reopen provided access is limited only to those with a valid COVID certificate. As at all venues where COVID certificates are required, there will be no requirement to wear masks.
The limits regarding private events continue to apply, i.e. no more than 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
Restrictions on entering Switzerland to be relaxed
People who have been vaccinated are now exempt from contact and travel quarantine for a period of 12 months. In line with the requirements for the EU Digital COVID Certificate, people who have recovered from COVID-19 are exempt from quarantine for a period of 6 months. The validity of rapid antigen tests is also being extended from 24 to 48 hours.
People entering Switzerland from the Schengen area will no longer be required to quarantine. The requirement to be tested will now apply only to persons arriving by plane who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID-19. In addition, Switzerland is easing the existing entry restrictions for persons arriving from third countries who can prove they have been vaccinated. The list of countries issued by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has been amended accordingly. It is now once again possible for third-country citizens travelling from countries such as the US to enter Switzerland.
Entry from a country with a variant of concern
The current list of high-risk countries issued by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) will only contain countries or regions where virus variants of concern to Switzerland are in circulation. Those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease will be permitted to enter Switzerland from these countries or regions without having to be tested or to quarantine as long as it is certain that the vaccination offers good protection. Those who have neither been vaccinated nor have recovered must present a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test and go into quarantine on entry.