Covid-19: Simon Calder explains when to book travel PCR tests
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Switzerland introduced a 10 day quarantine for British travellers as news of the Omicron variant broke across Europe. Fully vaccinated tourists have to quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.
The UK Government update said: “There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover.
“There is no quarantine requirement for those in transit airside at the airport.”
Unvaccinated passengers are not allowed to enter Switzerland unless they have residency or one of few special circumstances.
The transit news has been welcomed by tourists who are planning to transit to a French ski holiday via Geneva.
Richard Sinclair, CEO of ski company SNO, said: “The Swiss have quickly realised that unilaterally shutting down international access to all surrounding nations’ ski areas was not well thought through.
“The damage is now limited to the travel industry within Swiss borders, but trust has been damaged in their ability to make proportionate decisions.
“It’s likely most European travel businesses and airlines will be looking at how they can move their operations away from Swiss airports for the remainder of this ski season and beyond.”
Sara Burdon works at the tourist office in the French ski resort of Morzine and shared her relief with Planetski.
She said: “We’re relieved that British skiers can still make it out to the Alps via Geneva this winter.
‘We’ve been getting incredible numbers of calls and messages about it and holidaymakers seem relieved to know that transit is now ok.
“At just over an hour from the Porets du Soleil Geneva airport is an important hub for us with huge amounts of skiers passing through in the winter.
“The snow is now here, and we’re ready to open very soon.”
Switzerland is not the only country to tighten travel rules against British tourists in the face of Omicron.
Unvaccinated Britons over the age of 12 can no longer visit Spain in a new rule introduced on December 1.
The regulations have upset some British families’ plans as many teenagers in the UK have not had the option to get a second jab.
To qualify as fully vaccinated under Spanish law, people must have had two jabs of a two jab vaccination.
British travellers holidaying in Portugal will need to provide a negative Covid test even if they are fully vaccinated.
The travel rule comes as Portugal enters a state of calamity on December 1 due to rising Covid cases.
In mid December, travellers over the age of 65 will need to have had a booster jab to qualify for a health passport in France.
The health passport is required to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and tourist attractions in France.
UK tourists are advised to check the UK Government website for the latest restrictions before going on holiday.
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