Hundreds of British Tourists ‘Flee Swiss Ski Resort’ Despite Order of Self-Quarantine

Swiss authorities on Dec. 27 reported that hundreds of British tourists fled the ski resort of Verbier, breaking the quarantine rules that were imposed to contain the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom.

Swiss authorities on Dec. 27 reported that hundreds of British tourists fled the ski resort of Verbier, breaking the quarantine rules that were imposed to contain the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom.

Local media reported at least half of the 420 British tourists under quarantine left Verbier, a popular ski destination located in the municipality of Bagnes, during the weekend.

“Many of them stayed in quarantine for a day before setting off under the cover of darkness,” Bagnes Communications Officer Jean-Mare Sandoz told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, calling it an “unprecedented situation.”

Sandoz also said that less than a dozen British tourists were left at the resort and that some of those who fled have reappeared in France, contacting their Swiss hotels to pay for their booked nights.

Local media also reported that hoteliers noticed the “secret departure” of the British tourists when calls to the rooms “were repeatedly unanswered” and the meals left outside of their rooms “had not been touched.”

Switzerland on Dec. 21 announced that those who arrived from the U.K. since Dec. 14 had to be placed under quarantine for 10 days, following the reports of a new variant of COVID-19 in the U.K. which has been reported to have reached Swiss borders.

Switzerland also ordered restaurants, bars, sports facilities, and cultural venues to close until Jan. 22 as the alpine country faces its own surge of COVID-19 cases.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Switzerland has recorded a total of 428,197 COVID-19 cases


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