For a week, travelers have had to have a negative corona test before taking off for Switzerland. There is therefore a risk of quarantine shock at the resort. 20 minutes answers the most important questions about the new compulsory test.

To Paris and back with just one test? The BAG advises against this, but it would be possible.

 Can you go on a weekend trip abroad with a single corona test?

The trip would then be very short because the test is only valid for a short time.

 Can you go abroad for a weekend trip with a single corona test?

Without a test certificate at the airport, you won't even go on board to enter Switzerland.

That's what

  • The new entry regime has been in effect for a week, that requires testing.

  • Travel experts advise you to have yourself tested before your outward journey.

  • They give tips on how to best prepare for the trip.

A week ago, the federal government tightened the entry regime and now requires everyone over the age of 16 who enter Switzerland to pass a negative PCR test, regardless of their vaccination status. The tests can be positive for everyone, whether vaccinated or not.

However, those who have recovered still have the problem that their test result can be positive up to three months after the corona disease, even if they are no longer contagious. This is why there is a nasty quarantine surprise on the return journey.

20 minutes answers the most important questions about mandatory testing for entry into Switzerland.

What happens if you don't have a test?

Anyone who trots to enter Switzerland at the airport without a certificate will be sent away, says travel ombudsman Franco Muff to 20 minutes. When entering the country by car or train, there are random checks, and anyone caught has to pay a fine. The responsible canton then checks whether the person has still been tested. From September 20 to last Sunday there were 574 buses due to a lack of test evidence in the amount of 200 francs, as the Federal Customs Administration reports on request. Since then, unvaccinated people have been required to test upon entry. The customs office cannot say how many buses there have been since the regime change at the beginning of December, when they all had to be tested.

Do you absolutely need a test?

Yes. In the 20-minute community, some say they weren't checked before entry and therefore advise saving the money. Travel Ombudsman Muff advises against it. «The controls are absolutely impermeable. The airlines do not want to transport passengers who they then have to take back with them straight away because they are not allowed to enter Switzerland, »says Muff.

You can on a weekend trip with the same test as on the outward journey back?

Yes, the BAG advises against it, but according to Swiss it is possible as long as the entry requirements are met. In practice, however, it is almost impossible because the trip would have to be very short, as Travel Ombudsman Muff says. The test must be taken at least 24 hours before departure in order to have a result on the day of departure. However, since the test is only valid 48 hours after the sample is taken, it is then only valid for one day. “There are also reports that confirm that the laboratories are at the limit,” said Muff. The test result therefore often arrives late.

Where can you best travel?

It's hard to say because the regulations keep changing. Many holiday countries, such as Thailand, require a test before leaving and then another on site, says Muff. Asked travel agencies recommend that you carefully check the entry requirements for your travel destination in advance. Swiss offers a list for numerous destinations. According to Holidayguru, the Maldives, Dubai, Mexico and the Dominican Republic are currently in demand.

How can you prepare?

Community members advise you to have yourself tested in Zurich before departure so that there are no test surprises on the return journey. Travel Ombudsman Muff supports this and also recommends that you determine the relevant provisions for entry. “If quarantine is required upon entry, a normal tourist with a usual stay of one or two weeks cannot accept it,” said Muff. In addition, it is important to plan the trip as quickly as possible in order to keep the risk of new measures low. The experts at Holidayguru also advise avoiding large crowds a few days in advance and, if possible, work in the home office. In addition, the vaccination minimizes the quarantine risks in many countries enormously.

What can you expect in quarantine?

One reader hopes that his test will be positive on the return trip so that he can party longer at the resort. But the travel ombudsman warns if the country is subject to quarantine. “I'm hardly allowed to leave the hotel room in quarantine. It's not a good situation, ”says Muff. In addition, you have to pay the cost of the accommodation yourself. “Depending on the holiday destination, the high season starts now, then the overnight stay will be even more expensive,” says a spokeswoman for Globetrotter. In some regions it is allowed to change hotels or stay with friends, but that is rare and can change constantly.

Should you give up traveling now?

In the 20-minute community, many are upset that people are going on vacation in the Corona crisis. But epidemiologist Marcel Tanner says: “If you adhere to the international and local guidelines, it is quite possible to travel without spreading the virus.” But he also advocates careful decision-making. «Is the vacation trip really necessary? We should be much more aware of what our activities can mean for us and also for society, »says Tanner.

What you need to enter the country

In addition to the test, the federal government requires a completed travel form. “The contact details are important if people need to be informed about a positive case in their environment,” says a leaflet from the BAG. All persons over the age of 16 are subject to the new regulation. It applies to tourists and Swiss citizens returning to the country.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7341

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