Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Switzerland opens doors for fully vaccinated Indian travellers

New Delhi: Switzerland has become the first country to open its doors for fully vaccinated visitors from post second Covid wave India.

What’s more, there is no need to quarantine on arrival for the desi travellers who have got both jabs of Covishield. While the country does not ask for negative RT-PCR reports from such travellers, the airline you fly to the land of the Alps may require to carry one from a test conducted within a certain timeframe to allow you boarding.

India and Switzerland have so far not formed an air bubble due to which direct flights are not available. That will mean transiting via Paris or Amsterdam.

Germany currently has restrictions on allowing transit to Schengen states for travellers from countries that have Covid variants of concern, including India.

While fully vaccinated from high risk countries are now allowed, there is are protocols and ever-changing rules during the pandemic that visitors will do well to check before taking off for the Swiss Alps.

Also, there may be restrictions on travelling to other EU countries from Switzerland. While WHO approved, Serum Institute of India-made Covishield has so far not been included in the list of approved vaccines for EU “Green Pass” that will be required for travel to and within the EU from next month.

Covaxin is yet to be approved bY WHO. Switzerland’s federal council had on June 23, 2021, decided to lift the entry restrictions for persons from third countries.

“The embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi is currently accepting all visa categories for persons arriving from third countries like India, who can prove, that they have been fully vaccinated. Booking of a prior appointment is mandatory for all application type. VFS Global Services is operational and accepting visa application at the centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin and Hyderabad,” website of Swiss embassy in India says.

28/06/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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