PCR Tests for arrivals into Switzerland

Old Feb 13, 2021, 9:12 am
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thread for the amateur virologists and wannabe epidemiologists?
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Old Feb 14, 2021, 3:24 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by sfoeuroflyer
Second question: in any case, is quarantine waived for important business meetings? Who can attend a business meeting if one has to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days?
The exceptions to travel related quarantine have been in place since it was first introduced in summer 2020. They are unchanged in the current ordinance. However, the ordinance is worded that way, that the exception could also apply to the testing requirement - or not. That's the uncertainty at the moment. Apparently Swiss wants to be on the safe side and does not accept the exceptions listed in the ordinance in respect of testing.

Originally Posted by binsabai
the quarantine has been reduced to 7 days
True, but only if there is a negative antigen test on day 7. (Interestingly, for this purpose antigen tests are allowed, which is another inconsistency in the ordinance)
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Old Feb 17, 2021, 10:14 am
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As indicated in posting #5 above, the Swiss cabinet of ministers ("Bundesrat" in German) has today updated the ordinance. The updated version will come into effect on 22 February 2021, at 00:00 hours.

The changes can be found (in German) under https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/mes...ents/65365.pdf . Hopefully, also an updated version of the entire ordinance will be published. (now published: https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2021/61/de)

The changes address the issues raised in my OP, i.e. the timing and the exceptions. However, they go beyond that and also allow for rapid-antigen tests, something which was clearly ruled out, before.

As regards timing, the testing needs to have taken place a maximum 72 hours before the departure of the flight into Switzerland for PCR-Test and a maximum of 24 hours for rapid-antigen tests.

As regards the exceptions, the ordinance now defines six exceptions, some of them also new:

- Children under the age of 12
- Passengers with medical attestation that they need to travel ot Switzerland urgently for medical reasons
- Swiss citizens and residents who did not have had an opportunity to get tested (based on self-declaration!)
- Transit passengers not leaving the airport
- Passengers who recovered from a SARS-COV2 infection within the last three months (with medial certificate)
- Passengers who cannot be tested for medical reasons.

I think the ordinance is clear now. The only change which surprises me, is that Swiss citizens and residents can self-declare that testing had not been possible. Most other countries require a confirmation of a consular agency or similar.
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Last edited by swiss_global; Feb 19, 2021 at 10:00 am Reason: full ordinance has now been published, link added)
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Old Feb 17, 2021, 11:41 am
  #19  
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A colleague told me about this. Does this apply to arrivals by train too?
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Old Feb 17, 2021, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Concerto
A colleague told me about this. Does this apply to arrivals by train too?
No, its just by plane
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Old Feb 23, 2021, 1:45 am
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Unfortunately, the FOPH has already managed to damage the clarity of the new ordinance on the day it came into force. On their webpage they communicated that the Antigen-Rapid-Test is only valid for boarding, but not for crossing the Swiss border: https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...nreisende.html

This is obviously very non-sensical, how can you get a PCR-Test while travelling on plane or after arrival but before crossing the border? Once again, the FOPH is changing rules without any legal basis.
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Old Feb 23, 2021, 2:31 am
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Originally Posted by swiss_global
This is obviously very non-sensical, how can you get a PCR-Test while travelling on plane or after arrival but before crossing the border?
Not saying that I agree with this reasoning, but as per this article (German) the idea is that people who travel on long flights to Switzerland can already board and fly while still waiting for their PCR test results, provided they do have an antigen test result in hand.

If the PCR test result is not ready by the time they arrive in Switzerland, then they can apparently "immediately get one in Switzerland" and send in the result afterwards...
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Old Feb 23, 2021, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by airoli
Not saying that I agree with this reasoning, but as per this article (German) the idea is that people who travel on long flights to Switzerland can already board and fly while still waiting for their PCR test results, provided they do have an antigen test result in hand.

If the PCR test result is not ready by the time they arrive in Switzerland, then they can apparently "immediately get one in Switzerland" and send in the result afterwards...
Well, this "idea" was certainly not part of the initial communication by the Minister of Health, on February 17. So I guess it's a FOPH invention.

Certainly TIMATIC, as well as the Swiss webpage, are currently not mentioning this, but just the two alternative testing methods ... so I expect that many will be caught off guard.
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Old Feb 26, 2021, 4:07 pm
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Hello,

I have a Spanish passport and I am looking for a LX flight that would force me to stay overnight in Zrich. Can I stay at a hotel outside the airport terminal? The transit time would be less than 24 hrs and I would also carry the corresponding PCR.

Thanks,
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Old Feb 27, 2021, 1:58 am
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Yes. Are you arriving from Spain? Spain is currently on the Swiss quarantine list, meaning that you'll have to follow quarantine protocol in addition to carrying a negative PCR test and filling in the entry form. Staying at a hotel is okay, as is leaving Switzerland after <24h.
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Old Feb 27, 2021, 4:30 am
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Originally Posted by airoli
Yes. Are you arriving from Spain? Spain is currently on the Swiss quarantine list, meaning that you'll have to follow quarantine protocol in addition to carrying a negative PCR test and filling in the entry form. Staying at a hotel is okay, as is leaving Switzerland after <24h.
In case of this kind of transit (<24h but you have to leave the terminal to go to the hotel) do you need the qPCR test?
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Old Feb 27, 2021, 8:12 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Marcin83
In case of this kind of transit (<24h but you have to leave the terminal to go to the hotel) do you need the qPCR test?
Yes, the testing exception is clearly limited to airside transits.
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Old Feb 28, 2021, 8:42 am
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helle there

silly question: flying soon from Zrich to Geneva oneway only, are there going to be some checks, documents we might need or is it business as usual on this route?

regards,
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Old Feb 28, 2021, 9:04 am
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On a related topic for those departing Switzerland : the covid test result for the arrival country (e.g. UK / Ireland) needs normally to be in English.

Many passengers were turned away at the gate for having Covid test results in German.
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Old Mar 1, 2021, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by bobhope2
On a related topic for those departing Switzerland : the covid test result for the arrival country (e.g. UK / Ireland) needs normally to be in English.

Many passengers were turned away at the gate for having Covid test results in German.
Do you know if they were using the testing facilities at the airport? It would be awkward if they issue certificates in German. However, I suspect they used a testing facility at a local hospital and for instance my local hospital is very clear they do not issue certificates for travel purposes. It's obviouslly tempting to pretend some COVID symptoms and get tested for free, while you have to pay CHF 195 for the testing at the airport ...
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