THE UK QUARANTINE CHANGES IN CONTEXT
SO WHAT DO THE UK QUARANTINE CHANGES MEAN?
We weren’t surprised the UK placed Switzerland on a quarantine list last night. But we weren’t unduly worried either.
Here’s what it means and why it’s not as serious as you might at first imagine.
The UK quarantine will effect travellers returning to the UK after 4am on Saturday 29th August.
So, just like France, Austria and a number of other countries, you will have to quarantine for two weeks if you were to go from Switzerland to the UK.
But you don’t need to quarantine when you arrive in Switzerland from the UK.
THE CURRENT SITUATION
In Switzerland the pandemic has been controlled in a simple and successful way.
In fact Switzerland was one of the first countries to ease lockdown and safely open shops and restaurants – and it’s been going really well apart from rises in some areas over the last couple of weeks.
So as Switzerland continues to generally deal very well with the pandemic, numbers as a nation have crept up and are now just over the UK’s threshold. At the same time there are just a handful hospitalisations and deaths across the entire country.
The rise in cases has driven by spikes in cases in busy international cities like Geneva and Zurich.
Here in the mountains cases remain low – despite large numbers of people visiting the mountains during the busy summer tourist season.
THE CONTROLS HERE
We don’t believe you need to worry about the UK changing Switzerland’s status on the quarantine list – Switzerland is still very safe.
The truth is that Switzerland has just gone above the UK limit – not smashed through it in an exponential spike.
So whilst nobody wants to see cases rising the rate is certainly not alarming.
Incidentally the UK threshold for quarantine is rather low at a weekly average of 20 cases per 100,000 people per day. The Swiss average rate is around 21 or 22 cases at the moment.
By comparison the Swiss “danger” threshold is 60 cases per 100,000 people.
But the Swiss Federal Council have already acted and recently increased measures to keep case levels where they were.
And as the rise really has been centred around certain urban areas, the individual cantons are also taking more measures on a local level.
Meanwhile in Valais, the canton of Verbier and Saas Fee, cases are under control. Skiing is underway in Saas Fee and it’s all operating in a very safe and very sensible way.
You can read more about how the Swiss are safely opening ski areas in this blog from Element Ski School.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We fully expect the cases level to dip below the UK threshold soon.
The infection rate has risen but not sky-rocketed. So we would be surprised if a quarantine was still in place as our Swiss courses end.
Naturally this is a new and unique situation. But we have confidence that the Swiss response is effective and is delicately balancing the opening up of society whilst keeping everyone as safe as possible.
However, if you have some concerns or would like to ask a question we would be very happy to chat. So just get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.