Switzerland is by far the latest European country to proclaim the relaxation of travel restrictions, following an assessment that, despite the high Covid-19 instances, there are low concerns that the healthcare system will be overburdened because of the high degree of immunity among the population.
The Swiss Federal Council announced the decision in a press release on February 16, stating that the new travel limits and other enabling measures in the country will take effect the following day, on February 17.
“Health-related measures for persons entering the country are to be lifted. It will no longer be necessary to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test or complete an entry form,” the Council announces.
The Council also resolved to discontinue issuing Covid certificates that are only valid in Switzerland, which were launched last autumn for residential usage, at its meeting on Wednesday. However, EU-compatible Covid certificates will continue to be produced because numerous EU and Schengen Area nations still require them for entrance into their territory.
“The cantons will, as they requested, still be able to impose a certificate requirement,” the press release said.
Another rule that will be repealed is the requirement to wear a mask when entering stores, restaurants, cultural institutions, and other public places and events. The requirement to wear a mask at work has also been removed, as has the advice to work from home.
However, the requirement to isolate in the event of a positive COVID-19 test result, as well as the requirement to wear a mask in public transportation, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions, will remain in effect until the end of March.
SchengenVisaInfo.com warned of Switzerland’s move to abolish the bulk of COVID-19 limitations at the beginning of the month when the obligation to work from home was withdrawn and began to apply merely as a recommendation.
Earlier, on January 22, Switzerland abolished the necessity for pre-departure testing for travellers who had been inoculated against COVID-19 or recovered from the virus within the previous 270 days. The Swiss Federal Council’s decision to lift the majority of limitations follows similar moves by the EU and Schengen Area countries, who have withdrawn a considerable portion of the restrictions in recent weeks, claiming that the COVID-19 scenario is no longer a concern.
Lithuania is also one of these countries. Starting February 15, the Lithuanian government has lifted travel restrictions for all arrivals from EU and EEA countries, including individuals who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and have not recovered from the infection.
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