“Switzerland remains cautious and only relaxes its entry restrictions with restraint,” the Swiss justice ministry wrote in a twitter post on Thursday. This means Montenegro stays on the list of “at risk” countries for which entry and quarantine restrictions still apply, it added.
According to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), the new rules from Monday apply to Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
They also apply to five European Union countries which are outside Schengen: Croatia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania and Cyprus. Also included are Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican.
Covid-related border controls were lifted at all land and air borders between Switzerland and the Schengen states on June 15.
The Swiss government had already said at the beginning of July that it planned to lift the restrictions for the 21 newest countries, to follow a recommendation by the EU. Switzerland is not part of the EU but has bilateral agreements in place with it.
“All other countries are still considered high risk. Entry restrictions continue to apply to persons entering Switzerland from these countries,” the SEM said on its website. This includes the United States. The list “will be revised as and when required,” it added.
In addition to these entry restrictions, since July 6 anyone entering Switzerland from a country or area with an increased risk of infection must spend ten days in quarantine and report their arrival to the relevant cantonal authority within two days. The list of 29 countries can be found here.
Those not keeping to quarantine, may risk a fine of up to CHF10,000 ($10,600), Swiss officials have said.
Quarantine in action
Meanwhile the first figures from several cantons in Switzerland show that people are generally keeping to the at-risk country quarantine rules, Swiss public television, SRF, has reported.
In cantons Geneva, Vaud, Basel City, Thurgau and Graubünden just under 900 travellers are currently in quarantine. In canton Zurich 600 people had registered.
“This shows that many people are acting responsibly. But the figure also shows that many are not registering with the authorities and are not going into quarantine,” the Federal Office of Public Health said.
For example, 16 planes from risk countries landed in Zurich, Geneva and Basel on Thursday, which means a conservative estimate of at least 1,000 people a day from these countries coming into Switzerland, SRF said. Some may have travelled on to other countries.
Cantons have long been calling for passenger lists from air and bus companies. The government is looking into whether this is possible, as there are data protection concerns.