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Repatriation Swiss tourists flown home from South America and Africa

Edelweiss plane landing at Zurich airport

The plane from San José, Costa Rica, with about 150 passengers on board landed at Zurich airport on Tuesday.

(Keystone/Alexandra Wey)

The first flights carrying Swiss tourists stranded in different parts of the world have arrived at Zurich Airport as part of a major repatriation effort organised by the Swiss government and other countries. 

The foreign ministry said planes from Bogotà (Colombia), San José (Costa Rica) and Casablanca (Morocco) had landed at Switzerland's main airport on Tuesday and Wednesday with about 560 tourists.

An additional flight from Lima (Peru) is expected over the next two days. 

In total, about 750 Swiss tourists stranded in South America because of the travel restrictions over the coronavirus crisis will  be brought back this week, the ministry said. 

The historic repatriation campaign also includes flights from Asia and Africa and is organised by the Swiss foreign ministry in cooperation with other countries 

However, the tourists have to pay towards the chartered return flights and must stay in self-isolation at home for at least ten days to avoid contamination with the Covid-19 virus. 

The government last week called on all Swiss travellers to return. About 17,000 of them have registered with the authorities via the travel admin appexternal link.

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