Switzerland has announced that beginning today, a “COVID-19 certificate” will be required for anyone over age 16 who wishes to go inside restaurants, as well as into cultural and leisure facilities.
The rule — which also applies to tourists — will remain effective until January 24, 2022, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Based on the overall situation, the Federal Council has decided to extend the certificate requirement for persons aged 16 and over. This is to prevent hospitals from being overstretched. It will take two to three weeks for this measure to have an impact on the situation in the hospitals,” the statement of the Federal Council reads.
“Consequently, all persons who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the disease, or those who have recently tested negative will be able to attend indoor places and several activities in Switzerland without being subject to restrictions,” the website reported.
“Access to cultural and leisure activities such as zoos, libraries, museums, fitness centres, water parks, swimming pools, and casinos will also be limited to only COVID-19 certificate holders. In addition, the certificate will also be mandatory for those who wish to access indoor sporting and cultural activities.”
But those who enter those facilities without the certificate or proof they’ve had the virus face a fine of more than $100.
“Establishments and event organisers that do not comply with the certificate requirement may be fined or even closed down. The cantons are responsible for monitoring compliance,” the Council added.
Meanwhile, the U.K. is going in the other direction.
“Plans to introduce vaccine passports for access into nightclubs and large events in England will not go ahead, the health secretary has said,” according to the BBC.
Sajid Javid told the BBC: “We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it.”
A week ago, the vaccines minister defended the passports as the “best way” to keep businesses open. According to the plan, citizens would have been required to show proof — whether of double vaccination or a negative COVID test — to be admitted into clubs and other crowded events.
The U.S. is also moving toward more rules. Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed his support for COVID-19 vaccination requirements for air travel — as the Biden administration did not rule it out.
“I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” the White House chief medical adviser said in an interview with theSkimm podcast, The Hill reported.
On Friday, White House coronavirus response team coordinator Jeff Zients said the Biden administration is “not taking any measures off the table”. And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said later in the day: “We are always looking at more we can do to protect and save lives. Obviously, he made a significant and bold announcement yesterday, so I don’t have anything to preview — predict or preview for you, but we’ll continue to look for ways to save more lives.”