everything you need to know as the country reopens to vaccinated tourists
Switzerland has reopened its doors to travelers, without any quarantine rule for vaccinated travelers.
The European destination started welcoming tourists again on Saturday. Travelers from countries outside the EU, including the United Arab Emirates, who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine can now include Switzerland in any summer travel planning.
For travel within the EU, there are no longer restrictions on arriving in Switzerland. International visitors must be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months to avoid self-isolation rules.
Famous for its Alpine landscapes, watchmaking expertise and love of all things chocolate, Switzerland’s alluring towns and quaint mountain villages are now open to explore.
Here’s a guide to everything you need to know if you’re planning on going.
Who can travel to Switzerland?
Citizens and residents of the United Arab Emirates who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed to enter Switzerland without quarantine. This means the country is now easily accessible and is likely to be a popular destination this summer, especially given its inclusion on the Abu Dhabi Green List.
To qualify to fly to Switzerland, travelers must have received the second dose of any vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival.
The Swiss authorities have also developed a very easy-to-use Travelcheck service where tourists can enter information about their place of departure and vaccination status, to find out if they are eligible to travel to Switzerland and what restrictions apply. You can find it here.
Travelcheck will also be helpful in case there are any further changes to the entry rules in the future.
What should I do before traveling?
In addition to making sure you are vaccinated, travelers should complete a registration form before flying to Switzerland. You can find a copy of this form here. You must also register your data with the Federal Office of Public Health.
Fully vaccinated tourists no longer need to take a PCR test before traveling to Switzerland, unless the airline they are traveling with requires it, so check it before heading to the airport.
Children under 16 do not need to show proof of a negative coronavirus screening test or vaccination record when entering Switzerland.
Which vaccines does Switzerland recognize?
Switzerland accepts travelers who have vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, namely Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
The country also recognizes vaccines approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use, including Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Travelers must have proof of full vaccination performed at least 14 days prior to travel. Unvaccinated travelers from the United Arab Emirates cannot yet travel to Switzerland for tourism purposes, but business travel is permitted.
What restrictions are in place
Over the past year, Switzerland’s security measures have proven to be effective and there have been a limited number of outbreaks in tourist destinations in Switzerland, although most hotels, restaurants and mountain resorts remain open.
Swiss authorities have advanced the easing of coronavirus measures from tomorrow to Saturday, and face masks no longer need to be worn in busy outdoor spaces, including restaurant terraces, train stations and facilities Recreation.
You should always wear a mask in indoor areas such as shopping malls and trains, or where the recommended social distancing of 1.5 meters cannot be met. People can move around bars and restaurants again, but masks must be worn when they are not seated. Nightclubs and discos are also reopening with no masks needed, but entry will be limited only to those with a Covid-19 certificate, whether they are cured or vaccinated.
Which airlines fly from the United Arab Emirates to Switzerland?
From Abu Dhabi, Etihad operates directly to Zurich. The UAE’s national airline also flies to Geneva, with round-trip fares to the two cities starting at Dh 1,995 ($ 543).
From Dubai, Emirates will take you to Geneva from 2,364 Dh and Zurich from 2,180 Dh. Swiss also serves the United Arab Emirates and is a good option if you want to travel to other parts of the country, thanks to its Airtrain service, which takes passengers to Basel and Lugano at no additional cost.
What to see and do in Switzerland?
Click on the photo gallery at the top of this story to find inspiration for travel in Switzerland.
Known for its alpine mountains, pristine national parks, pretty lakeside villages and love of chocolate, Switzerland in the summer is a delight. From July to August, the daytime temperature range is 18-28 ° C, with no extreme heat or humidity.
In the capital Bern, you can explore a medieval old town and admire world-class works of art. In German-speaking Basel, expect countless museums and bustling food halls. Lucerne offers the chance to immerse yourself in Swiss history and is home to one of the oldest bridges in the world, while Lausanne is the place to go for nightlife, parties and rooftop bars. Europe’s largest lake takes pride of place in pretty Geneva, while Zurich offers a well-heeled getaway with trendy bars, luxury hotels, and upscale restaurants – with prices to match. In the Grisons region you will find natural spas, green valleys and some of the most scenic train journeys in the world.
The beauty of Switzerland is also that you can go from the city to the mountains with ease. In the heart of the Alps, Switzerland has the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the thorny Pilatus, as well as some reliefs of Mont Blanc. Go trekking, hiking, biking or rock climbing and enjoy alpine lakes, wooden chalets and traditional farms in the country’s untouched rural destinations.
What is the situation of Covid-19 in Switzerland?
Switzerland has chosen to ease Covid-19 restrictions as infection rates drop across the country and the rollout of vaccination continues.
The European nation has recorded 702,507 cases and 10,882 deaths since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, placing Switzerland in 38th place in the world for the total number of cases.
The country is currently experiencing a drop in positive cases and at least 41% of the population had been vaccinated on Friday, according to the latest data from Bloomberg.