On Friday, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announced that people coming from French regions of Centre-Val de Loire, Hauts-de-France, Île de France, Normandy, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie, Pays de la Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and the island of Corsica will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine.
The decision was made based on the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in these areas.
Who will be impacted by the new regulation?
Anyone arriving from the nine French regions — including residents of Switzerland returning from vacation — will have to register with the health authorities in their cantons of residence.
Registration should be done at the latest two days after arrival, by either calling the local health authorities or filling out online forms.
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The government said it would “rely on members of the public to act responsibly.”
The penalty for not registering or for breaking the quarantine could be a 10,000-franc fine.
Additionally, travellers from France’s overseas territories, as well as those arriving from Austria’s capital, Vienna, will have to self-quarantine too, as the government has added these areas to its ‘high-risk’ list.
Who is exempted from the new quarantine rule?
Workers from French regions bordering Switzerland, who are in the possession of the G-permit, are not required to quarantine, as the areas from which they come – mostly Haute-Savoie, Ain, and Haute-Rhin — are not high-risk.
Also, workers from these regions are essential for the Swiss economy.
That is especially the case in the Lake Geneva region, which relies heavily on over 125, 000 frontier workers from France.
In Geneva alone, some 60 percent of the city's health workers live in France.
Could other geographical areas be added to Switzerland’s high-risk list?
The government said it was following the lead of other European nations that are already implementing “a region-based approach” to neighbouring countries.
“Taking a regional approach means that persons returning to Switzerland from risk areas will be required to go into quarantine, but not persons returning from regions on the Swiss border,” authorities said, adding that the decision takes “account of the close economic, social and cultural exchanges that take place in the border regions”.