A skier going downhill on a snow-covered mountain in Zermatt.
© Michael Portmann/Zermatt Tourismus

Swiss winter tourism is under threat from coronavirus travel restrictions

The tourism industry is worried that a ten-day quarantine for ‘high risk’ countries will be disastrous for one of its busiest times

Written by
Time Out editors
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Winter in Switzerland is undeniably chilly, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the hottest destinations around for those who love their winter sports. This year, however, the tourism industry is worried that foreign travel quarantine restrictions imposed in Switzerland will severely damage what’s normally a booming time for tourism.

The Swiss Government has published a list of countries and areas it considers high risk in terms of coronavirus infection, and anyone who has spent more than 24 hours in one of these places in the last ten days must undergo a ten-day quarantine period when arriving in Switzerland.

The tourism industry fears that this quarantine period will be too off-putting for many foreign visitors over the winter season, with potentially disastrous consequences for Swiss tourism. Many in the industry are asking for a shorter quarantine period, with some calling for negative coronavirus tests (taken within the last 48 hours) to be taken into account when deciding entry criteria. Currently, a negative test result doesn’t exclude anyone from quarantine when entering Switzerland from one of the countries on the ‘high risk’ list.

Of particular concern for those worried about Swiss winter tourism is the number of areas around France that are on the government’s quarantine list, as French tourists play a significant part in Switzerland’s tourism numbers. Although France is not on the list as an entire country, nine regions around France are (as of September 15). The UK isn’t currently included on the list.

For the full list, keep checking the Federal Office of Public Health’s website.

Travel may be changing, but Switzerland is still full of great stuff to do. For inspiration on the best activities, venues and experiences around the country, check our guide to Switzerland in the autumn and our tips on how to have the ultimate Swiss staycation.

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