ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland on Saturday widened quarantine requirements to stem the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant to travellers arriving from Britain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Egypt and Malawi, where cases have been detected, its health ministry said.
On Friday, Switzerland banned direct flights from South Africa and the surrounding region due to the detection of a new COVID-19 variant, while also imposing restrictions on travel from other countries including Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.
Entry from those countries would only be possible for Swiss citizens or those with a residence permit in Switzerland or the broader Schengen area.
Now, following the detection of new Omicron cases, travellers from Britain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Egypt and Malawi will need to present a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine for ten days as well, the Federal Office of Public Health said in a tweet.
It did not state whether travel from those countries would be limited to Swiss citizens and residents or not.
Two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have also been detected in the southern German state of Bavaria and in Itlay, both neighbours of Switzerland, but Switzerland has thus far not imposed travel restrictions on any countries with which it shares borders.
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Nick Zieminski)