INDUSTRY NEWS: Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022 and COVID-19 in Switzerland

After two years of pandemic-affected digital versions of the fair, Watches and Wonders is optimistic that its Geneva 2022 edition will be able to be held in-person, with the announcement that it will be held between 30 March – 5 April 2022 at Palexpo. The list of participating brands will be announced at a latter date.

In related news, Switzerland will start issuing COVID-19 certificates from June 7, 2021 to residents who have been vaccinated, had a recent negative PCR test, or who have recovered from COVID-19. Available in digital or paper form, they should be available throughout Switzerland by the end of June, the Federal Council announced in a statement yesterday. Swiss residents will be able to get the free (non-mandatory) certificate from pharmacies, doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, or vaccination centres. A digital QR code can be generated to confirm their status.

The COVID Certificate Check app can be used to check paper COVID-19 certificates as well as the digital certificate – only the full name, date of birth and validity of the COVID-19 certificate will be seen. From the official statement is is not yet clear how recently the negative PCR test will have had to be taken. The Swiss digital COVID certificate will be compatible with the EU certificate.

A new EU digital COVID certificate was rolled out this week in seven EU countries, effective June 1, 2021.

In Switzerland there is currently a plan for a ‘vaccine travel’ certificate, under the powers of the COVID-19 Act, which is in force until the end of 2021. Swiss voters will vote on the Act in a referendum on June 13, 2021.

For information on the constantly evolving situation in Switzerland for residents and those wishing to travel there, go to the Federal Office of Public Health’s site.

Swiss authorities have abolished the entry quarantine requirement for people who have been vaccinated and those who recovered from the virus for the next six months. This (currently – always check for updates) applies only to people who have been vaccinated with one of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) COVID vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson). Those coming from high-risk countries will not be eligible for the restriction-free entry option, even if they received both shots.

Meanwhile here in Australia, overseas travel remains tightly controlled for an indefinite period, with Australians having to apply to the government for travel exemptions. As reported a couple of days ago, 150,687 travel exemptions were granted between March 25, 2020 and May 17, 2021. As individuals are allowed to submit more than one application, the figures relate to trips rather than individuals, and they include permanent departures.

Categories: Industry news, Switzerland, watches, Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022

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