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Does the corona virus affect trips to Switzerland?

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Posts: 158
Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 16, 2020 - 3:57 AM in reply to Jmbau13

Hello Jmbau13,

I think you have made a wise decision, as things in Europe (not just Switzerland) are bound to get worse before they get better. Nobody knows how long it will take. I would like to think that you will get full refunds for everything, as these are extenuating circumstances, and totally not your fault. I do regret that some on this forum optimistically continued to be gung-ho about coming to Switzerland, whilst for others the writing had been on the wall for some time.

I am a cautious optimist, and things will eventually get better. And Switzerland will be just as interesting to visit next year and the one after that. No doubt the glaciers will have lost some more of their ice.

Last modified on Mar 16, 2020 - 4:19 AM by Peterli
Vigneshlabam
Vigneshlabam
10 posts
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Mar 16, 2020 - 4:23 PM

To all my Indian friends who are currently in Europe,

Govt of India has banned Indian passport holders to enter the country from Europe.

m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/government-prohibits-entry-of-passengers-from-eu-turkey-uk-from-march-18/amp_articleshow/74657194.cms

1960man
1960man
2694 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2020 - 12:14 AM

Passenger trains to be cut by 50% later this week

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2020 - 3:41 AM in reply to 1960man

I have been looking for more details of this 50% cut. No luck so far. Can you give me some more details ?

However, I have been watching the March 16 19h30 news from RTS: www.rts.ch/play/tv/19h30/video/19h30?id=11169142 Sorry it is in French, and with French subtitles. Interesting interview with Alain Berset, the mobilization of up to 8000 soldiers, for the first time since the mobilization of 1939 (World War II) to help in hospitals and at the border crossings. Anybody still contemplating a visit to Switzerland any time soon should (FINALLY) realize that it is out of the question. I really hope that all contributors to this forum know this.

Last modified on Mar 17, 2020 - 4:43 AM by Peterli
Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2020 - 4:36 AM in reply to Peterli

Hello everybody,

I found the information about the train services being cut down on the official SBB website, however, the article is NOT available in English (or I couldn't find it!)

Here's the link:
- news.sbb.ch/artikel/95750/coronavirus-fuer-die-sbb-hat-die-gesundheit-oberste-prioritaet

I'll try to translate the main points:

  • Effective a per THURSDAY, 19TH OF MARCH 2020
  • Services on purely "touristic" routes and historic trains rides will be CLOSED DOWN.
  • InterCity trains will decrease the frequency from HALF-HOURLY to HOURLY
  • Regional trains and busses will decrease the frequency from HALF-HOURLY to HOURLY resp. from QUARTHER-HOURLY to HALF-HOURLY
  • First and last connections are guaranteed in order to cover all the shifts of health care staff
  • Late-night connections on weekends are CANCELLED
  • Services to the neighbouring countries will be either STOPPED or are only provided up to the BORDER
  • IMPORTANT: the SBB TIMETABLE and APP will always be UP TO DATE, so plan carefully if needed
    - www.myswissalps.com/timetable

Hope this provides some guidance.

Best,
Steph

Last modified on Mar 17, 2020 - 5:11 AM by Steph
Peterli
Peterli
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Mar 17, 2020 - 5:05 AM in reply to Steph

Hallo Steph,

Good dig, there. I looked for a version of this article en français, mais sans succès ! Maybe I'll have better luck later today. There should be some sort of official notice in all four of the national languages, as these changes are important for all Swiss who rely on trains for transport. I can understand why it is not in English, as this is primarily directed at Swiss people (and residents), not tourists.

<< Services to the neighbouring counties will be either STOPPED or are only provided up to the BORDER>> You mean countries, of course, but I wonder what will happen with the SBB (basically commuter) trains that go just over the border to places such as Waldshut, Germany (in this case 1.8 kilometres over a bridge over the Rhein). See attached map. I've also seen such trains in Lörrach, on their way to Bâle.

I also wonder about international trains that operate in or pass through Switzerland.

I also wonder how any future tightening of controls of roads at the border will affect cross-border shopping. As you know, Swiss just love doing their grocery shopping at Kaufland and Edeka in Germany and Intermarché, Carrefour, and Casino in France.

Last modified on Mar 17, 2020 - 5:30 AM by Peterli
Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2020 - 5:17 AM in reply to Peterli

Hello Peterli,

Thanks for catching that typo, of course I DID mean neighbouring COUNTRIES!

By chance I have just found the news-article in English as a pdf, I will attach it below for everyone!

AND I've found the link to the french version:
- news.sbb.ch/fr/article/95750/coronavirus-vastes-restrictions-dans-le-trafic-ferroviaire

Cheers,
Steph

Last modified on Mar 17, 2020 - 5:17 AM by Steph
Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2020 - 5:34 AM in reply to Steph

WOW ! You are good at digging. And I thought I was good. So, you have saved me some work and I can get on to other things. Thanks.

nandini7
nandini7
10 posts
new member
Mar 17, 2020 - 6:39 PM

I just had one of the best trips every in Switzerland, visiting beautiful cities and staying in the Alps. I was lucky to have planned to head back home on 3rd March. The change in the world sentiment from 3rd March to now is extremely drastic. It is so difficult for me to see the struggle that Europe is facing in just 2 weeks - my heart goes out to all the people suffering there. I still check the SBB app from time to time, wondering if the people I met during my travels are safe now. Sending strength and positivity to anybody a part of this struggle, and I sincerely hope that all others who are well, have the wisdom to stay home and do their part in making the situation better for the whole world!

1960man
1960man
2694 posts
top member
Mar 17, 2020 - 11:32 PM in reply to Peterli

"I have been looking for more details of this 50% cut. No luck so far. Can you give me some more details ?"

For the record, that's because my info came from an industry insider - ahead of any public pronouncements.

Last modified on Mar 17, 2020 - 11:34 PM by 1960man
1960man
1960man
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Mar 17, 2020 - 11:35 PM in reply to Peterli

I also wonder how any future tightening of controls of roads at the border will affect cross-border shopping. As you know, Swiss just love doing their grocery shopping at Kaufland and Edeka in Germany and Intermarché, Carrefour, and Casino in France.

Probably pointless, as there is nothing in the French supermarkets - after 1.5 hours wait in a queue

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 18, 2020 - 12:54 AM

I don't know any details of other places along the border, but a friend in Waldshut (Germany) informs me that the SBB trains are crossing the Rhein over the rail bridge at Koblenz (AG) and that the Swiss customs people (Zoll) are set up in the railway station in Waldshut.

Last modified on Mar 18, 2020 - 12:58 AM by Peterli
Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 18, 2020 - 4:01 PM in reply to nandini7

Hello Nandini7,

<< I sincerely hope that all others who are well, have the wisdom to stay home and do their part in making the situation better for the whole world! >> Well stated, and excellent advice. It is high time that people stop thinking about "me" and "my" personal projects and desires, and instead more about "we", the safety and health of all the other people in the world.

I am glad that you had a wonderful visit to Switzerland and that you were able to get out on March 3 with no problems. I am wondering, have you been self-isolating since you got home ?

Last modified on Mar 18, 2020 - 4:04 PM by Peterli
Maxdave1980
Maxdave1980
7 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Hello Guys.. I have planned my trip from 6th June till 20 June.. not sure what to do but i have kept my flight tickets and just canceled by hotels in Wengen and Lucerene and still negotiating with the Zermatt and Zurich guys for a refund. Hoping thins will turn better before june if not i again have to worry about my flight refund. This was one of my long time wish and dint expect this to go this way.

Any way this forum was really helpful for my planing and i wish all of you and your loved once to be safe. Hope if things to return back to normal soon and come visit Swiss by next June.

Regards

Max

nandini7
nandini7
10 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2020 - 3:54 PM

<<I am glad that you had a wonderful visit to Switzerland and that you were able to get out on March 3 with no problems. I am wondering, have you been self-isolating since you got home ?>>

Thank you Peterli! Mine was a work trip to Switzerland - I had traveled with a hand sanitizer and used it very regulary throughout my travels and extended holiday there. Also, the day I left Switzerland, the count was just 58, and all areas were declared safe there. However, during my return flight, I sanitized my hands every hour - they were so dry by the time I reached home. I don't know why I was so careful, but I am relieved now that I took those precautions. For the first 3 days after I returned, nobody was really worried about Corona anywhere except China and Italy. But fast-forward to a week (i.e. March 10th), and my country started quarantining people returning from Europe. That's when I decided to stay at home. We've given the maids leave for a month, and none of us have left home since a week now. My father had a heart surgery a few years back, and my grandmother is 82, so I was particularly worried for them. However, I show no symptoms and neither do they. The 14-day period just got over so I am relieved. But still, we are extremely particular about hygiene. I am enjoying cooking various types of meals for the family. I made an elaborate European dinner one day for all of them, including Cheese fondue! One thing that this situation has taught me, is the value of spending time with your family and caring for your home. Work isn't everything!

Anna
Anna
851 posts
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moderator
Mar 20, 2020 - 8:14 PM in reply to Maxdave1980

Hi Max,

It's hard to say how long these restrictions will be in place. Even harder to predict is how long this pandemic will last. It's not only Switzerland that is affected but all of Europe too. Wuhan (China) was in lockdown for nearly 2 months, but even now there are still new cases being reported although not as many as before. I am guessing, if we can't find a faster exit strategy most of Europe could be in lockdown or partial lockdown for that length of time too. There are reports that say a warmer weather could slow down the virus. These are just reports but let's hope it works.

If possible, I would try to reschedule any trip to the later part of the year. Maybe summer onwards, just to be safe.

Keep following this thread for the latest updates.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Mar 20, 2020 - 8:28 PM by Anna
Anna
Anna
851 posts
top member &
moderator
Mar 20, 2020 - 8:16 PM in reply to nandini7

Hi nandini7,

Thanks for posting your update. I'm glad you made it safely home!

Stay safe and regards,

Anna

Mcguijc
Mcguijc
4 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2020 - 3:28 PM

Hi Anna,

Thanks so much for keeping this forum up to date, as I frequently check it to see how I should proceed with my trip. Our Delta flight still shows available for May 23rd, and I am just waiting to see how Switzerland/US deal with the travel bans. It looks as though more information might be available after April 16th or 26th with travel? My plan is to wait until May to really make a decision.

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Apr 8, 2020 - 6:37 AM in reply to Mcguijc

Hello Mcguijc,

I have my doubts about you being able to make a normal visit to Switzerland by May 23rd. It is difficult to know what the situation will be 40 days from now and I, just like everybody, want this all to be over, in Switzerland and the USA and everywhere. That said, unless you have money to burn, I suggest you get written statements from everyone who will be involved in your travels and who require prior payment, as to the cut-off date for canceling and getting full refunds. In the meantime, say home as much as possible and thus keep safe.

Anna
Anna
851 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 17, 2020 - 8:23 AM

Hello MySwissAlps members,

The SBB has issued a press release following the annoucement by the Federal Office to lift some of the coronovirus measures. According to the press release, from 27 April services will return to normal timetable in stages. You can find more details from this link: news.sbb.ch/artikel/96331/coronavirus-severe-restrictions-to-swiss-rail-travel?printpdf=1

Regards,

Anna

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