Fighting talk from Zurich in the face of new variant

By Charlotte Turner |

On 4 December, the Swiss Government announced that it would be replacing its 10-day coronavirus quarantine requirement for international visitors – first introduced on 26 November to combat the spread of the Covid Omicron variant – with tighter testing protocols.

 

As of 4 December, travellers entering Switzerland are no longer required to quarantine, but do need to take a PCR test prior to travel, as well as second PCR or rapid antigen test between day 4 and day 7 after their initial arrival into the country.

 

Testing is mandatory for all inbound travellers to the country regardless of their vaccine status.

 

In an exclusive interview with TRBusiness, Zurich Airport, Head Commercial Centres, Heidi Köpple confirmed that in the final days of November the airport had launched a campaign, calling on the Government to overturn new quarantine measures.

 

Zurich Airport, Head Commercial Centres, Heidi Köpple.

Zurich Airport, Head Commercial Centres, Heidi Köpple.

‘WE’LL KEEP FIGHTING BACK’

“Insisting ten days of quarantine makes travelling extremely challenging,” said Köpple, who confirmed that the airport supported the Government’s move to improve testing capacity.

 

Köpple said that despite the challenges it poses, the airport remains ‘optimistic’.

 

“We hope to avoid future lockdowns in Switzerland so we can take advantage of the upcoming Christmas period… We remain optimistic and hope that Omicron will be just a little disturbance [in the grand scheme of things]…we’ll keep on fighting back.”

 

In the video interview, to be published in the December issue of TRBusiness, Köpple talks about the response the airport has received following the opening of its unique Gatezero retail proposition. [See the December issue for more details].

 

THE CIRCLE: ONE YEAR ON

Köpple was also able to update TRBusiness on The Circle project; an ambitious real estate project first announced in 2014.

 

“The Circle actually opened on 1 November 2020,” said Köpple. “Unfortunately, under very challenging circumstances… we had only opened for a couple of weeks and then another lockdown was announced for Switzerland.”

 

The project stretches over 180,000sq m. “We have an 85% lease rate which is really great these days. We’ve opened new restaurants and new retail space and we’ve had a great start despite the current scenario.”

 

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