Saturday, 31 July 2021

European Affairs in a Global Context Students:

First of all, thank you for your patience regarding the public health measures we’re all being asked to negotiate at this time.

Following the Steger Center Planning Committee meeting I attended on Friday morning, I am revising my recommendations to you about COVID testing prior to our departure on the 5th. In brief, I don’t think a COVID test is necessary prior to our departure next week Thursday.  You are all vaccinated, and you will all have hard-copy and digital proof of vaccination (a photo of your vaccination card on your phone) on hand at the airport, and upon arrival in Zurich.

Switzerland currently requires proof of vaccination, and that will most likely remain in place in the weeks ahead.  Germany (through which I will be traveling en route to Zurich) is currently requiring proof of vaccination OR a negative antigen (or PCR) test within 72 hours of departure for passengers traveling from outside of the Schengen area. The airlines appear to be aligning their own requirements with the countries they service.

So, if you have made arrangements to be tested next week, you may want to consider canceling your appointment.  As long as you remain asymptomatic, and as long as you are vaccinated, you will be permitted to board your flight and safely enter Switzerland.

However, Yannis and I ask that you check your airline’s website daily, and that you still remain vigilant relative to risk of exposure to the coronavirus in the next five days.  Masking and social distancing should protect you from contracting the coronavirus, and we should all do your utmost to stay out of harm’s way (do not visit crowded indoor spaces).

All of us should secure N95 or KN95 masks for our flights, and for use in Switzerland.  These masks are the gold standard of facial protection, and it appears that airlines, merchants and municipalities are all monitoring more carefully the types of masks people are wearing.

Finally, please review the attached CDC recommendations, as well as the URL below, which provides a county view of rates of infection in the U.S.  If you live in or will visit a high-risk area before departure, please take extra precautions.


Thank you all.

Scott G. Nelson