Switzerland to remove United States and United Kingdom from quarantine list

Switzerland on Wednesday decided to remove the US and Great Britain from its mandatory quarantine list, effective immediately.

Switzerland to remove United States and United Kingdom from quarantine list
Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The decision is a consequence of falling infection rates as a result of both countries’ strong vaccine rollout. 

Countries are placed on the list as a result of high coronavirus infection rates. 

EXPLAINED: Can people from America and the UK come to Switzerland?

Swiss media reports that along with the US and the UK, the countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Ireland, Qatar, Lithuania and St. Lucia have been removed. 

In France, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region has been removed, while in Italy, the Apulia region has been taken off the list. 

These removals come into effect from March 25th. 

Several countries have however been placed on the list, including a number of prominent holiday destinations. 

These are Greece, Jamaica, Paraguay, Tanzania and the Ukraine.

These additions will not come into effect until April 5th. 

For a full list and an explanation, please click the following link. 

UPDATE: Which countries are currently on Switzerland’s quarantine list?

The official list is available here. 

US and UK making progress in the coronavirus battle

In the latest update of its “red list” of countries and regions from which incoming travellers need to quarantine, the Swiss health ministry said travellers from the United States, the world’s worst-affected country in the pandemic, and from Britain, which is the fifth hardest-hit, will no longer need to quarantine from April 5.

Both countries have made great strides with vaccinations, and have seen new infection levels drop low enough to no longer trigger the requirement.

Switzerland puts countries and regions on its “red list” for quarantining once Covid-19 infection rates remain significantly higher than Switzerland’s own infection rate per for a period of 14 days.

On Wednesday, the Swiss rate stood at 523 new infections per 100,000 people. The country of 8.6 million people has to date counted nearly 585,500 cases of Covid-19, and close to 9,500 deaths.

Swiss authorities also said Wednesday they were planning to roll out by summer a certificate for residents who have been vaccinated against the new coronavirus.

‘Green pass’: Everything you need to know about the coronavirus immunity card in Switzerland

Note: This story previously stated that the countries would be removed from April 5th. However, the removal of the countries came with immediate effect, i.e. from March 25th. The additions to the list will apply from April 5th. 

Member comments

  1. Great that people from the USA and the UK will be able to visit Switzerland again. Hopefully they won’t want to go to a Cafe, Restaurant or Bar. This is all a bit bizarre that people from these countries can visit Switzerland when the vast majority of the Swiss population still remains to be vaccinated.

  2. I think this action falls into the class of adding insult to injury or maybe rubbing salt in the wound for residents of Switzerland.

  3. Some of this came into force today – from BAG

    No longer on the list since 25.3.2021: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, France: Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Italy: Regione Puglia, Ireland, Lithuania, Qatar, Saint Lucia, United Kingdom, United States of America.

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Did Sweden’s state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

For his supporters, it was well-deserved, for his detractors a case of failing upwards. But when Sweden's Public Health Agency announced this month that state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell was taking a job at the World Health Organisation, both sides assumed it was true.

Did Sweden's state epidemiologist really get a big job at the WHO?

Now, it seems, the job might not be there after all. 

At the start of this month, Sweden’s Public Health Agency announced that Anders Tegnell was resigning to take up a post coordinating vaccine work with the World Health Organisation in Geneva. 

“I’ve worked with vaccines for 30 years and have at the same time always been inspired by international issues,” Tegnell said in the release. “Now I will have the chance to contribute to this comprehensive international work.”

During the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tegnell shot immediately from obscurity into the spotlight, gaining such celebrity status in Sweden that one fan had his profile tattooed onto his arm.

Internationally he was hailed by lockdown sceptics for his reasoned arguments against overly restrictive measures to control the spread of the virus. 

His new WHO appointment was reported all over the world. 

But on Tuesday, the Svenska Daglabdet newspaper revealed that the job had not yet been awarded. A spokesperson for the WHO said at a press conference in Geneva that “there is some confusion”, and that “this is an internal question.” 

According to the newspaper, there is even “a certain level of irritation” behind the scenes at the WHO that Sweden acted too soon and dispatched Tegnell to a job that did not actually exist yet. 

“We have received an offer from Sweden, which is still under discussion,” the organisation’s press spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, told the newspaper. 

On Thursday, the Public Health Agency’s press chief Christer Janson conceded that there had been a mistake and that the negotiation had not been completed.  

“We believed it was done, but it wasn’t,” he told Expressen in an interview. “It’s been a much longer process to get this completed than we thought. There’s been a misunderstanding and we regret that.”