Switzerland imposes tougher entry Covid curbs

Switzerland has announced stricter Covid-19 rules allowing entry only for people with EU-approved vaccines while granting approval for those vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm on a case by case basis.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved vaccines are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Swiss ambassador Helene Budliger Artieda said the policy will start on Tuesday with a phase-in lasting until Oct 10 before it is fully in place.

Swiss citizens in Thailand will face a complicated situation as Thailand implemented mixed jabs between Sinovac and AstraZeneca. The embassy suggested those who want to travel to Switzerland and have mixed vaccines to request an entry certificate once the online system is in place.

Those who received AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine as a third dose may have a better chance, according to the embassy. However, the decision will not be made by the embassy but by individual cantons in Switzerland.

During the transition period, the Swiss government will still allow visitors who hold certificates for WHO-approved vaccines including Sinovac and Sinopharm widely used in Asia and developing countries.

The document they need is the World Health Organisation International Certificate of Vaccine, known as the yellow booklet. The document will be needed to access events or facilities requiring a Covid-19 certificate. A protest broke out in the capital after news of the new rule spread. Up to 4,000 people marched in Bern last week.

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