News Alerts

06 Jun 2020 | 12:37 AM UTC

Switzerland: Authorities plan to reopen borders to EU, EFTA, and the UK from June 15 /update 12

Switzerland News Alert

Authorities announce plans for Switzerland to reopen borders to the EU, EFTA and the UK as of June 15; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/6/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/6/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Zurich). COUNTRY/REGION Switzerland

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Event

The Swiss government announced on Friday, June 5, that it plans to reopen the country's borders to the European Union (EU), state members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and the UK from June 15. As the country starts lifting restrictions introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter also announced that there are plans to reopen borders to more countries from July 6, but has given no further details.

Public transport in Switzerland resumed operational services on a restricted schedule, while some regional train services are on regular timetables. Hospitals have been permitted to conduct all procedures, including elective surgeries, while massage parlors, salons, and hairdressers have also been allowed to resume operations. Shops, markets, and compulsory schools were reopened as of May 11, while universities, secondary, and vocational schools will be allowed to reopen from Monday, June 8. Events of more than 1000 people remain banned until August 31.

As of June 5, authorities have confirmed 30,936 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 1921 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia. 

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:  

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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