NEWS: Swiss Federal Council extends COVID certificate requirement

Last month we mentioned the issue of workplace vaccination requirements in Switzerland. As well as private sector businesses, a number of Swiss universities have since announced that they will be requiring COVID certificates for on-site lectures when they re-open.

For those of us who are not Swiss residents, whether or not we can travel to Switzerland at the moment is dependent on our capacity to exit our own country and enter Switzerland, as well as satisfying the quarantine/ vaccination/ testing requirements that are conditions of entry.

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) removed India, Nepal, and the United Kingdom from the “list of countries with a variant of concern” effective 4 August 2021, but as the situation is an extremely dynamic one, it is best to check for updates should you plan to make a (watch-related) trip to Switzerland.

If you make it there, you may wish to know that the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation has just extended the COVID certificate requirement (which we have discussed previously), effective today (13 September 2021).

The COVID certificate requirement applies to individuals aged 16 and over. It will be mandatory in indoor areas (restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities such as museums, libraries, zoos, swimming pools, water parks, casinos, fitness centres) and for and events held indoors.

Access to cultural and leisure facilities such as museums, libraries, zoos, fitness centres, climbing halls, swimming pools, water parks, spas, billiard halls and casinos is also limited to COVID certificate holders. Religious ceremonies and political events for up to 50 people are exempt, as are self-help groups. There is also a certificate requirement for events of over 1,000 people.

The certificate may also be used by employers as part of a company’s protection plan.

Certificates will not be required for outdoor areas of restaurants, for street vendors, and restaurants in airport transit zones.

There are exemptions, as noted in the infographic.

There will be a financial penalty of CHF 1,000 for those who are at an event or in a certificate-mandated establishment and do not have a COVID certificate, and the owners/ event holders who do not comply may be fined or closed down. Monitoring compliance is the responsibility of the cantons.

With regards to COVID-19 vaccination in Switzerland, the FOPH reports that as of 10 September, 59.51% have had at least one dose (52.57% are fully vaccinated, 6.94% are partially vaccinated).

The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases in Switzerland has risen over the summer, but is presently between 2,500 and 3,000 cases a day. As at 10 September the seven day average was 2,740, which was +8% on the previous week. Switzerland currently has the highest incidence rate in Europe, with 410 new infections per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days.

For full details and the media release hit this link. The measure expires on 24 January, 2022. At the same meeting the Federal Council also began a consultation on two proposals – the first regarding entry rules (testing, quarantine) for people who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered from COVID-19, and the second regarding people who have been vaccinated abroad and the Swiss COVID certificate.

Currently, only certificates issued by countries participating in the EU Digital COVID Certificate are technically compatible with the Swiss system. Under this second proposal, anyone who has been vaccinated elsewhere with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and who resides in or travels to Switzerland is eligible for a Swiss COVID certificate.

You can find all Federal Council national COVID-19 ordinances here, with any additional cantonal rules on their respective websites.


[Graphic credit: Federal Office of Public Health]

Categories: Industry news, Switzerland, Watch shows, watches

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