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Corona in Switzerland: puzzles about Britons who have disappeared from quarantine

The news made international headlines: Hundreds of British tourists are said to have fled the Swiss Corona quarantine. Now, a week later, doubts have arisen about the scale of the incident.

Simon Wiget, Tourism Director of Verbier in the canton of Valais, does not believe that 200 or more people have illegally left an ordered quarantine in the place, as he told the dpa news agency. First, the “NZZ am Sonntag” reported doubts.

The municipality spokesman for Verbier, Jean-Marc Sandoz, told the dpa on December 27th that of 370 identified guests who had had to be in quarantine, only fewer than a dozen were there after Christmas. Five hoteliers reported about British departures who had not checked out regularly. Three found untouched breakfast trays in front of the rooms and found that some of the people had left overnight.

“It is difficult to say exactly what the situation was like”

Tourism director Wiget said the 370 people were people who potentially had to be quarantined. The canton authorities, which never communicated figures for individual municipalities, would have had to check how many this actually applied. Legally, those among the 370 could also have left, whose quarantine obligation was already over on Christmas days.

“I have no information on whether people from the UK disregarded quarantine requirements or left illegally,” said Wiget. “Certain people respect requirements and others do not – but that does not mean that all members of the same group are lawbreakers.” He does not believe that 200 or more people who are subject to quarantine have left. “It’s hard to say exactly what the situation was like.”

Community spokesman Sandoz said he was referring to surveys of hoteliers and tour operators. His term of office as press spokesman for the community ended regularly on December 31. After his talks with journalists on December 27, the community told him not to comment on the subject, he says. On January 1st, a new mayor, Christophe Maret, took office. He did not want to comment on dpa request and referred to tourism director Wiget.

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