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Home Business Switzerland opens doors for fully vaccinated Indian travellers - Times of India

Switzerland opens doors for fully vaccinated Indian travellers – Times of India


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.
“For fully vaccinated third-country nationals with CHE, EU and WHO recognised vaccines, the regular entry requirements will be applicable again from June 26, 2021. This also means that these travellers no longer have to be quarantined after arriving in Switzerland,” it adds.
Regarding Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health’s website says “persons who have been vaccinated or who have recovered do not have to produce a negative test even when travelling from countries where the Delta variant is widespread (such as India or the United Kingdom) and do not have to quarantine on entry. The vaccines used in Switzerland are only slightly less effective against the Delta variant and thus still offer a very high level of protection.”
A Swiss Airlines spokesperson said: “For the moment, there is no direct flight between India and Switzerland. Transit through other countries might be restricted. Visiting other Schengen countries internally from Switzerland might be restricted.” The embassy website asks travellers to “check with the authorities of concerned countries.”
Switzerland has temporarily increased service fee for visa applications due “to supplementary expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the embassy website says.
Visa applications submitted all over India will be processed by the Swiss embassy in Delhi where the processing time “under normal circumstances (is) between 7 to 10 working days after the submission at any VFS Visa Application Center in India. We however recommend you to start the application procedure as early as possible, but not earlier than 6 months prior to your entry date to the Schengen states, in order to avoid any inconvenience with your travel dates.”





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