The Swiss have always been careful about stuff; all kinds of stuff. For instance, women didn’t get the vote in Swiss federal elections until 1971. For local elections, the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden got around to permitting it in 1991. That has nothing to do with this story as such; it just sets the level of care the Swiss exercise.
At the end of September, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) published a new list of the countries it considers risky for the Coronavirus. I thought you might find it interesting in case you were thinking of travelling to, well, to or from anywhere really. To save you the trouble of searching the amazing list below for potential no-go motorcycle destinations, the US and Britain are both on it; Australia and New Zealand aren’t. But of course, you can’t leave Australia no matter where you’re going, unless you’re an ex-Prime Minister.
The “second wave”, the BAG says, is making itself felt and 59 countries now feature on the list, including numerous popular European destinations. You need to be quick, too: the lead time between notification and commencement is less than three days.
“The first look at the list is frightening,” writes my LinkedIn correspondent: “many more European countries are now considered to pose an increased risk of contagion — specifically Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. In addition, overseas countries include also Ecuador, Nepal, Jamaica and Oman as well as Morocco again.”
They missed the Faroe Islands, which are posting serious infection numbers at the moment but they’re probably considered to be part of Denmark. Don’t tell the Faroese. Here is the complete alphabetical list:
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cap Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iraq, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Qatar, Colombia, Croatia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Morocco, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Czechia, Ukraine, Hungary, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
But don’t be completely disheartened. The BAG has also removed nine countries from the list, so if you’ve been hanging out for a trip to Aruba, the British Virgin Islands, French Polynesia (no longer on the list of countries, but still classified as a risk area as a French region, see below), the enclave of Gibraltar, the US overseas territory of Guam, Kosovo, San Marino or the Caribbean states of Sint-Maarten and Turks & Caicos Islands, you’re in! Well, if your home country pays attention to the Swiss, and is prepared to let you go. Aussies, eat your heart out.
But that, as they say on TV, isn’t all by any means. Parts of other European countries are also considered too risky. In France, they include Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire, Corsica, Hauts-de-France, Ile de France, Normandy, New Aquitaine, Occitania, Loire Country, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and overseas territories Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion, Martinique, Mayotte, French Polynesia, St. Bartholomew and Saint-Martin. Maybe you’ll be able to have April in Paris, but probably not Christmas. And you can forget that ride around Tahiti, too, as well as that much-lauded motorcycle destination of Corsica.
In Italy, Liguria gets the cold Swiss shoulder. In Austria it’s Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Vienna. And funnily enough (if your sense of humor tends this way), Switzerland, with a current figure of 69 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, should also be on the list as a risk country.
Half of Europe is now a risk area, and of course that’s not just for the Swiss. The renewed spread of the Coronavirus throughout Europe and elsewhere, the much-feared second wave, is now under way. And it’s not one you want to ride.
To paraphrase David Crosby again, “And it appears to be a long / Yes, a long, long, long, long time before the vaccine…”
(Photos The Bear)