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Old 02.03.2021, 16:32
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Re: Commuting between UK and Switzerland

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I commute regularly between UK and Switzerland (generally weekly). The biggest pain now is the need for a PCR within 72 hours meaning:

1. PCR test at 6AM Friday morning at Zurich airport - get results by 12:00 on Friday lunch
2. Fly back Friday to UK Friday PM
3. Fly back Sunday PM which allows the same PCR test to be used for the return journey

Some points:

1. Regular weekly commuters are exempt from quarantine in both UK and Switzerland. This is covered here as 'Regular Commuters'

In the Swiss side this is covered by:

Under 'People travelling on business for an important reason that cannot be postponed.'

I got this confirmed (at least in Zurich canton) from the local gdstab office for myself as I work in IT and I cannot connect remotely outside of the country (the infra has both IP and GPS checks to login). Myself and a colleague also confirmed separately this is still valid after the UK variant was announced and both of us had replies from different people at the same office confirmed as still being valid.

However if you're in the UK or similar high risk country for 5 days the commuting exemption is revoked and you have to quarantine when you return to Switzerland, so for example if you go back for a week (as I did recently) I'm back in quarantine in my apartment here until tomorrow.

I can also confirm that queues at border control at Heathrow have been grim some weeks - almost 2 hours last Friday for example.

The other pain has been flight cancellations. I'm only trusting Swiss now as have been let down multiple times by both Easyjet (who I used extensively pre-Covid) and BA cancelling flights for months on end at late notice, often meaning you then had to buy more expensive late notice flights. So I'd say stick with Swiss for at least the short term.

Biggest issue is the cost really at present - gone from 60-90 quid for a return Easyjet flight each week to a total of 250-300 per week for the Heathrow Swiss flight (80-100) plus the costs of the fast PCR test at the airport (195CHF).
In 1994 flying Zurich Heathrow Friday evening & returning Sunday evening cost between 500-700 CHF using BA or Swiss Air as it was called, the 250-300 almost 27 years later is still a huge bargain!
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