Switzerland is one of the few countries in the world that has been able to control the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is returning to normalcy. As the country opens its borders with a gradual relaxation of rules, the need for information on the safety and cleanliness measures adopted remains high. Recently, Switzerland Tourism initiated the Clean & Safe campaign along with tourism industry associations to create a ‘Clean & Safe’ Label that will indicate that the establishments have made a conscious commitment to comply with protection plans. The campaign has been introduced as a measure to assure tourists about Switzerland being a safe and clean travel destination.
Switzerland systematically started relaxing its Covid-19 restrictions in three phases that were initiated on April 30, May 11 and June 8. In the first phase hospitals were allowed to perform all procedures, even elective surgeries, establishments like hair salons, massage parlours and cosmetic studies were also allowed to reopen. On May 11, hotels, museums and restaurants, markets and compulsory schools, were given permission to reopen. Theatres, mountain railways, navigation and tourist attractions followed on June 8. Furthermore, Switzerland opened its borders for travellers from the Schengen zone and the United Kingdom from June 15.
Even before the pandemic, Switzerland had a reputation of being one of the cleanest countries in the world. An evaluation by TripAdvisor users shows that Switzerland achieves very high ratings in terms of cleanliness. Speaking on this Fabrizio Orlando, Global Senior Manager Industry Relations at TripAdvisor, says “In addition to a written review, our users can rate criteria such as location, service, value for money and cleanliness for the property they visited. When compared to the other European countries with at least 5,000 accommodation reviews, accommodations in Switzerland previously achieved the highest score in the category “cleanliness” on TripAdvisor in 2019”, he adds.
As a cautionary measure, the federal government has drawn up detailed protection plans to adapt to the needs of the current situation and the new mindset of their guests. The implementation of these plans is mandatory for businesses that are reopening. The ‘Clean & Safe’ label is a uniform and easily identifiable means for businesses to communicate their commitment towards providing a clean and safe guest experience. It will also be instrumental in assuring guests from home and abroad about their safety in their future travel plans.
“Switzerland is currently in a transitional phase and with the step-by-step reopening of the tourist infrastructure, guests expect to know, if proper measures are being taken to maintain a high standard of hygiene. The “Clean & Safe” label is provided by the respective industry associations. A total of six industry-specific labels are available – for hotels, restaurants, navigation companies, cable cars, public transportation, and meeting facilities. The campaign is an approach to bring together the tourism industry associations in Switzerland to foster a safe and welcoming environment for travellers from across the country and the world,” said Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism India.