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Swiss hold off on China Covid travel restrictions

testing for covid
Back to the future: tests are again being required of travellers from China to Italy. Keystone / Matteo Bazzi

Authorities say they have no plans to introduce Covid entry requirements for travellers from China, where case numbers are rising sharply. But Switzerland is still watching for a decision at the European level.

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said on Friday there was no indication that the Covid-19 situation in China posed a threat to the Swiss health system. As such, there are no plans to introduce special measures for Chinese visitors, it told the Keystone-SDA news agency.

The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), responsible for the borders, added that Switzerland would coordinate its position with that of the European Union (EU).


Return of negative tests

Faced by the rapid outbreak of coronavirus infections in China over the past weeks, various countries have brought in rules requiring travellers to present a negative test, including the US, India and Japan.

In Europe, so far Italy and Spain have announced entry requirements. At the EU level no further action has been taken. A meeting of the 27 member states next week will discuss the issue further, Keystone-SDA writes.

Meanwhile the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said a negative test requirement is, in its view, unnecessary.

The president of the Swiss scientific advisory group, Tanja Stadler, said on Thursday that travel restrictions would have only a marginal impact on the situation in Europe, given the currently high prevalence of the virus. The risk of a dangerous new variant arriving is also low, although not to be ruled out, Stadler told Swiss public television SRF.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR