Arrivals from Austria will no longer be forced to complete a ten-day quarantine.
The decision was announced by the Swiss government on Thursday evening and came into effect at midnight.
Prior to the decision, the Austrian states of Vienna, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Burgenland and Salzburg, were classified as risk areas.
Only five countries on Switzerland’s list
Swiss authorities announced on Wednesday new measures to rein in skyrocketing coronavirus cases in the country, and acknowledged that it no longer made sense for most travellers to the country to quarantine.
But while introducing stricter rules for mask-wearing and crowd sizes, the government also said it would lift the requirement for people arriving from a long line of countries to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Switzerland or risk a $10,000-fine.
Switzerland has until now put countries and regions on its “red list” for quarantining once Covid-19 infection rates there passed more than 60 per 100,000 people for a period of 14 days.
But in recent weeks, the country itself has seen its own infection rate gallop past that mark and has over 760 cases for 100,000 people for the past two weeks.
That makes the country one of the hardest-hit in Europe, making it pointless to impose quarantines on people arriving from less-impacted regions.
According to Switzerland’s new quarantine rules, only Belgium, the Czech Republic, Andorra and Armenia – along with three regions of France, including Paris – are considered high risk.
In France, the Hauts-de-France and ÎIe de France / Paris regions as well as the overseas territory of French Polynesia are considered to be risk zones.
Der Bundesrat definiert einen neuen Schwellenwert für die Aufnahme von Staaten und Gebieten auf die Risikoliste: Auf der Liste sind ab morgen nur noch Staaten und Gebiete, deren Inzidenz um mehr als 60 höher ist als die Inzidenz der Schweiz. pic.twitter.com/ClRVkzLLGA
— BAG – OFSP – UFSP (@BAG_OFSP_UFSP) October 28, 2020
The announcement is a significant change from the country’s previous quarantine rules, where dozens of countries and regions of countries were considered to be high risk.