connect, grow & thrive.

Covid – 19 Update – January 28

Numbers of positive cases continue their slow drop, however health minister Berset remains concerned as the new variants are spreading across the country; meaning that an easing of current restrictions is not in sight.

Testing:

Mr Berset is calling for more tests to be done and the government will pay for people without symptoms to be tested in certain cases: such as a suspected outbreak in a care home, school or company for example.

Should you have symptoms and wish to be tested you can do an online test; and if it calls for you to be tested then you should either call your doctor or fill out this online form if you are living in the canton of Lucerne to get an appointment at one of the drive in centres, or go to one of the medical permanence centres should you not have a car.

Vaccinations:

Currently close to 200 000 people have received a first vaccine in the country but, like in many other countries, there could soon be a shortage of vaccines. After Pfizer/Biontech announced not being able to meet their delivery target, Moderna has also said that it may face delays in delivering the 300 000 vaccines promised for beginning of next week. Ths would lead to vaccination delays throughout the country.

Masks:

As of February 1st, fines can be imposed on anyone who does not wear a mask on public transport as well as in train stations or bus stops or in front of publicly accessible facilities; or who takes part in unauthorized events or organizes a prohibited private event.

Travelling:

As of February 8, people entering the country from countries with an increased risk of infection will have to present a negative PCR test which is no more than 72 hours old. They will then have to quarantine. The quarantine can be shortened with a negative test on the 7th day, but the person will have to wear a mask for the next 3 days whenever they go outside.

Persons flying in from countries that do not belong to the risk areas must present a negative test which is no older than 72 hours upon entry. The control takes place when boarding the plane.

Anyone flying in will have to give their contact information at the border.

List of countries & areas considered high risk as of February 1:

Austria: Land Salzburg

France: Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Germany: Land Sachsen & Thüringen

Italy: Regione Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto

Countries and areas

  • Andorra
  • Brazil
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain
  • United States of America

Quarantine rules:

Up to now anyone coming into contact with someone who is tested positive has to quarantine for 10 days, now should a test be negative on day 7 then that person can leave quarantine. However, they will have to pay for the test themselves.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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