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Covid Measures

Updated 13 June 2022

our position

As of mid-May 2022, there are no national Covid-related measures in place in Switzerland:

  • It is no longer a legal requirement to isolate if you test positive for Covid-19 nor to quarantine if you’ve been exposed
  • There is no obligation, in any public area, to wear a mask
  • Proof of vaccination or immunity is not required for entry to any venue or event
  • There are no pandemic-related entry restrictions enforced for travellers
  • 99% of current Covid-19 cases are identified as infections of the Omicron variant

The Verbier Festival is confident that the Swiss government’s policies regarding Covid-19 are appropriate and that the most effective line of defence is common sense and a personal sense of responsibility. At the same time, given the highly contagious nature of the virus, we understand that musicians and coaches may prefer to take extra precautions, especially those in the VFO, VFJO and VFCO, who rehearse and perform within close proximity to each other for prolonged periods of time. 

In this spirit, the Festival has developed a number of special measures—geared primarily to orchestra players—with the aim of avoiding the spread of Covid or any other virus that could put our musicians health at risk and cause the cancellation of performances.

Click here for up-to-date information regarding Switzerland’s Covid-19 measures.
For the latest information and statistics regarding Coronavirus in Switzerland, please refer to this website from the Federal Office of Public Health.


vaccination

The Verbier Festival strongly recommends that all artists, students, staff, and volunteers be vaccinated against Covid-19.


personal responsibility

 The Verbier Festival urges all participants to help stop the spread of Covid-19 (and any other contagious diseases) by:

  • Staying at home if you feel ill
  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Sneezing into your elbow
  • Wearing a mask when in situations of high density of people in close proximity
  • Airing indoor spaces as much as possible

Click here for a list of ‘General principles’ from the Swiss Federal government in order to protect yourself from Covid-19.


masks

While wearing a mask is no longer required anywhere in Switzerland, the Festival encourages orchestra players to wear them during times of prolonged exposure to fellow musicians in close proximity (e.g. rehearsals, cantine, etc.).

Any musician or coach testing positive for Covid-19 or exhibiting symptoms will be required by the Festival to wear a mask and to follow the procedures listed below on this page.

Masks will be available from all Academy/Orchestras offices upon request.


testing

At present, there is no cost to obtain a rapid antigen test in Switzerland. These tests are readily available at most pharmacies and the cost is completely covered by the government.

Please note: there is no obligation to test under any circumstance except if ordered by a doctor.

Self-Testing

Should you experience symptoms, Covid-19 rapid antigen self-tests will be made available upon request to your designated Academy/Orchestras office.

Clinical Testing

As of 3 June, rapid antigen tests performed by a clinician are also available to any individual in Switzerland for free.

If you would like a test performed by a clinician, we recommend visiting:

Pharmacie De la Croix de Cœur
Rte des Creux 4
1936 Verbier
T +41 (0)27 771 39 90

Testing For Departure Travel

If your destination country after departure from Switzerland requires a negative test result for entry (whether PCR or rapid antigen), the Festival will organise your test and pay for any associated costs. Details on obtaining tests for travel will be communicated by the Academy/Orchestras teams in the days leading up to departure. We encourage those travelling internationally from Switzerland to closely monitor the policies of their destination country.

Please note: PCR tests will only be approved if they are absolutely required by the destination country.


procedures for covid-19 symptomatic or positive-tested persons

If you begin to experience clear symptoms of Covid-19, and/or if you test positive for the virus, you should immediately inform the following persons from the Academy/Orchestras teams:

If you exhibit symptoms (fever of 38 C/100.4 F, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, muscle pains, loss of taste or smell), the Festival cannot oblige you, but recommends you take a self-test. Regardless, as a symptomatic person, you will be subject to rules set out by the Festival in order to contain transmission of the virus.


Symptomatic Persons

If you experience Covid-19 symptoms (regardless of whether or not you test positive):

VFO, VFJO, VFCO

String, Percussion, Harp and Keyboard Players

You will not be permitted to take part in any rehearsals or performances until your symptoms have subsided and you feel well enough to play.

 

Woodwind and Brass Players

You will not be permitted to join the ensemble for any activities over a period of five (5) full days. Day zero (0) is defined as the first day that symptoms were noticed. At the end of this period, if you have been fever-free for 24 hours (without use of medication) and your symptoms are improving, you may resume orchestral activities.

In all cases, those who have obtained positive results and experienced symptoms will be obliged, whenever possible, to wear a tight-fitting mask (i.e. FFP2/N95) for a period of ten (10) days following the onset of symptoms. It is also recommended that these individuals, practice social distancing and refrain from attending social gatherings for this duration.

VFA SOLOISTS, ENSEMBLES, SINGERS, AUDIO ENGINEERS

Any identified Covid-19 infections will be treated in much the same way as other contagious illnesses, such as a common cold,  strep throat or influenza. Concretely, this means:

  • You will not be obligated to take a Covid-19 test even if you are symptomatic
  • Those who feel ill will be asked to stay in their accommodation, keeping distance from others as much as possible, until their symptoms resolve
  • Those with whom symptomatic individuals have been in proximity will not be asked to isolate unless they begin to experience symptoms, in which case we ask that they stay at home

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to take a Covid test before I travel to Switzerland, or after I arrive?

At present, it is not necessary to take a Covid test before travelling or after you arrive in Switzerland. Please use the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) online Travelcheck system to confirm entry requirements that apply to you.


Even if masks are not mandatory, can I wear one?

Yes, you are free to wear a mask at any time should you so wish.


What happens if someone becomes positive or symptomatic in shared accommodation?

Because accommodation circumstances differ from one lodging to the next, the Festival will deal with these issues on a case by case basis. Rest assured, positive or symptomatic persons will be separated from their ‘roommates’.


If I test positive for Covid and wish to consult a doctor, will this be possible?

Yes, there are several doctors in Verbier; you must make sure you have your health insurance card because the Verbier Festival does not cover any medical expenses.