| 23 May 2024, Thursday |

Foreigners welcome to Swiss ski lifts if they respect pandemic rules

Foreign visitors are welcome to use Swiss ski lifts as long as they follow the measures put in place by the government to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Health Minister Alain Berset.

When asked about a French restriction on British tourists seeking winter fun, Berset said, “The government’s purpose is to maintain as much as possible working, of course under different conditions as if there were no pandemic.”

He was speaking after Switzerland said that beginning Monday, people must provide confirmation of vaccination or recovery from the coronavirus in order to enter several indoor venues, but stopped short of imposing a tougher lockdown.

People who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 still need to present a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Switzerland, but the government dropped plans to require re-testing days later.

A week before the main winter sports season begins, ski resorts had been waiting to see how the government would handle the situation. Vaccination is not required to ride on lifts, where passengers have to wear masks in enclosed cabins.

Skiers need to present proof of vaccination or recovery to go inside a mountaintop restaurant for a hot soup or drink, but not to lounge on an outside terrace.

Berset said he hoped there would not be any case clusters in the ritzy resorts of Valais canton or the Bernese Oberland.

“We hope we are launching a system that lets people who can show immunity enter Switzerland and go on holiday,” he said.

  • Reuters