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my dream have always been visiting European countries, especially Switzerland!

I am thinking of traveling there on Christmas and have several questions in regards to traveling during pandemic:

  1. According to statistic in Google, the COVID is currently spiking. I am wondering how bad it actually is? Does it spread across the country or just in several province?
  2. Do the tourist places still get crowded? Does a strict physical distancing and wearing face-mask applied in those places?

Any help would greatly appreciated!!

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  • Are you fully vaccinated? Where are you travelling from? sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/aktuell/… I suspect your last question about car hire is off-topic as a ‘shopping’ question travel.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic
    – Traveller
    Nov 7 '21 at 14:25
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    We are not able to predict the future, Christmas is still over 6 weeks away. (I am also planning a travel for round that time, if a different country, and realize that I can not be sure to be able to travel till much closer to the date.)
    – Willeke
    Nov 7 '21 at 14:31
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    "across the country or just in several provinces" Uh well... Switzerland is really small (though I'm biased by my Canadian perspective).
    – xngtng
    Nov 7 '21 at 14:35
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    I’m not sure that the current Covid situation in Europe makes this a good time to fulfil your long-held dream, especially as it seems you’re travelling a very long way to do it. Why Switzerland particularly, and why Christmas - flight & accommodation costs are likely to be higher than normal, shops and tourist attractions might be closed 24-27 Dec.
    – Traveller
    Nov 7 '21 at 16:53
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    @xngtng: Switzerland is not a big country but it has a few distinctly different parts that speak different languages (4 in all) and are separated by huge mountains.
    – Hilmar
    Nov 7 '21 at 17:57
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I am wondering how bad it actually is? Does it spread across the country or just in several province?

See https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107264/coronavirus-covid-19-infection-rate-per-100000-people-switzerland/ . There is factor of two different between the best and the worst and the French speaking parts seem to be the most affected.

Do the tourist places still get crowded?

I was in Zurich two months ago and it was quite busy

Does a strict physical distancing and wearing face-mask applied in those places?

Switzerland has a mask mandate and at many places you need a Covid vaccination certificate to get in.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/masken.html

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/massnahmen-des-bundes.html

I am thinking of traveling there on Christmas

Christmas is still 6 weeks out. No one knows what's going to happen between then and now. Covid rates in Switzerland are going up rapidly at the moment. If this trend continues, it's likely that the Swiss government will tighten up regulations and restriction. This feels like a risky plan.

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  • This is very informative! Thank you so much! I will do some more research and re-think about this plan, then. Nov 8 '21 at 1:34
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This is by nature going to be an opinion-based answer, but since I'm also planning a Switzerland trip in December, here's my take. The way I see it, there are five potential risks here.

  1. Switzerland closing its borders. This seems unlikely: COVID is already endemic throughout Europe, so the additional risk of allowing travellers is minimal, particularly if vaccination is required (which is already the case).

  2. Your home country closing its borders. Even less likely: in addition to the above, as a citizen/resident you generally have the right to return to your country even in times of emergency.

  3. Switzerland locking down hard, eg. closing ski resorts, as they did last year. This, too, looks unlikely: unlike last year, vaccination rates in Switzerland are high, and most EU neighbors like Austria and Germany have explicitly stated that they intend to pursue policies that encourage vaccinations, instead of doing more blanket lockdowns.

  4. Catching COVID in Switzerland and being unable to return. This is IMHO the biggest risk: if your country/airline requires pre-departure COVID tests, and yours comes up positive, you'll be stuck until you test negative again, which could be weeks (eg 14 days for Singapore). What this means for your job, school, finances etc will depend greatly on your personal situation.

  5. Apocalypse risk. If there's suddenly a new Omega variant that turns people into zombies and spreads like wildfire, all bets are off. It's unlikely, but we saw many countries roll back opening when Delta came around, so it's possible.

All things considered, we're going ahead with the trip, but are taking the precaution of making sure our flights, hotels etc can be cancelled or at least moved free of charge, even if this costs a little more. Good luck!

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  • Thank you! That all makes sense, although I’m not sure about the first point. I heard from the travel agent here that Germany and Netherlands just closed their border for travelers again. I’m not sure about the details (e.g. only travelers from my country). May I ask which country you’re traveling from? Nov 8 '21 at 7:32
  • Sinovac is not an EMA-recognized vaccine, so the OP might count as unvaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals may not enter Germany from most countries for tourism purposes.
    – Bernard
    Nov 8 '21 at 7:46
  • @DarrenChristopher The author of this answer is probably a Singapore resident, and hence likely to be vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, which are EMA-recognized. You have to carefully read how the Swiss regulations apply to individuals vaccinated with Sinovac. I believe they won't even give you an EUDCC-compliant certificate, which means you'll be treated as if you're unvaccinated (i.e. no eating inside restaurants, no cable cars and ski lifts, etc).
    – Bernard
    Nov 8 '21 at 7:52
  • @Bernard I’ve researched on that part and Switzerland will accept Sinovac as per this megathread as it is WHO recognized for emergency use. Nov 8 '21 at 7:59
  • @DarrenChristopher Thanks for the link! I didn't realise that Sinovac is also acceptable for tourists from the end of November.
    – Bernard
    Nov 8 '21 at 8:09
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I have just checked the 'travel to Switzerland' information available for Dutch travelers.
The whole of the country is coloured Yellow, meaning that we can travel there but there are some risks.

On that site there is a link to a site from the Swiss authorities and you can fill out some questions there and get advice.
I have done it, assuming some things and it is quite clear. I do not share the results as I had to assume too much, so the results are likely wrong for you.

I had a look at the local results for Switzerland, this page in English popped up. Their conclusion is that the numbers are still much lower than last year this time but the numbers are going up.

Do not assume that the situation now has anything to do with the situation in a few weeks, as covid reports are rather unpredictable. In the Netherlands we went from 500 reported cases per day to 10000 reported cases per day in the space of a week some months ago, the numbers went down and are now up again to that same high number. Not Switzerland but it can happen in that country as well.

My personal advise would be 'do not travel all the way from Indonesia unless you have a very strong reason to come this year.' Travel may stop between Switzerland and wherever you want to go next. Getting stuck in Switzerland for months would not be easy. And it might be that the rules from Switzerland will stop you coming, depending on where you travel from and your nationality, depending on your travel route and methods.

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