SWITZERLAND has seen a considerable increase in coronavirus cases in August, with more restrictions being imposed.
But is it still safe to go on holiday to the country? Here is the latest travel advice.
Can I still travel to Switzerland?
Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Switzerland based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
You can still travel to Switzerland against the FCO advice, but doing so will invalidate your travel insurance.
Once you are in the country, you will be able to travel within Switzerland but will have to follow its rules.
They include keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people and wearing a face mask where keeping that distance is not possible.
Wearing a face mask is compulsory when travelling on public transport, and at Geneva and Basel airports.
It is compulsory to wear a face mask on all flights to and from Switzerland – and those who fail to do so could receive a fine.
Cantons have imposed further restrictions, and you should check cantonal websites for further details.
Will I need to quarantine?
If you are returning to the UK from Switzerland on or after August 29, you may need to self-isolate on your return.
This is because Switzerland has been removed from the travel corridor list after a spike in coronavirus cases.
The UK considers imposing quarantine conditions when a country’s rate of infection exceeds 20 cases per 100,000 people over seven days.
Here you can check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
People visiting countries that are removed from the travel corridor list will need to quarantine for 14 days on return to the UK, unless they manage to get home before the deadline.
Can I cancel my holiday to Switzerland?
If you have a package holiday booked to Switzerland – or any other country where the FCO is advising against non-essential travel – your booking should be cancelled and you will be entitled to a full refund.
This rule, however, does not apply to travel booked independently, for example a flight-only booking.
If you travel against FCO advice, you are unlikely to be insured.
If your flight is cancelled, you are due a refund – but despite the rules, some companies such as British Airways and Ryanair are making it difficult to claim one.
How many coronavirus cases have there been in Switzerland?
Switzerland has seen an increase in coronavirus in recent weeks.
Cases per 100,000 rose from 18.5 to 22 this week in Switzerland, forcing the UK Government to take action and remove it from the safe countries list.
In total, the country has recorded 42,177 coronavirus cases and 2,005 deaths.