COVID-19: How we are keeping you safe

Hotel Institute Montreux. COVID-19

Keeping our campuses safe

COVID-19: Latest News

We have been proactive in implementing the health and safety measures required by the Swiss Health Department to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and students.

Following the most recent Federal Council meeting

From September 13, a COVID certificate will be required in order to access indoor areas and restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities, and events held indoors. This requirement will be in place for a limited period, until January 24, 2022.

The COVID certificate is available to anyone who is either vaccinated, recovered from COVID or who has tested negative. The certificate can be presented using the app or on paper.

Detailed information on the measures following the council meeting can be found here.

Measures taken on campus

COVID-19: What you should know

  • Health and safety
  • Program Arrangements
  • Administration and finances
What is HIM's response to the latest Federal safety measures (September 13, 2021) to combat COVID-19?

•    We are in regular contact with the Swiss Health Authorities to ensure we are continuously implementing the latest health and safety initiatives.  
•    We have communicated the latest measures to our students and staff across all campuses, advising on best practice protocols and regularly sharing most up-to-date information.

What type of Health & Safety procedures should I follow as I travel to campus? 

Help us help you - with the three W's - Wash hands, Watch your distance, Wear a mask.

  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings, including on public transportation and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations. It is mandatory to wear a face mask when using or waiting for public transportation in Switzerland (airports, train, bus, boat, cable-cars, etc.). You must also wear a mask outside entrances to restaurants, shops, in busy pedestrian zones, and whenever it is not possible to keep the recommended distances (1.5 m). More detailed information can be found here.
  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 1.5 meters from anyone who is not from your household.
  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
What do I need to know about entering Switzerland? 
  • Students entering Switzerland by plane must provide a negative entry test result (PCR test no older than 72 hours or rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours) and fill in entry form.
  • Travelcheck – Can be done prior to arrival. See entry requirements.
  • Students entering Switzerland by bus, train or ship must fill in entry form.
  • Students entering Switzerland from countries with variant of concern must provide a negative entry test result (PCR no older than 72 hours or rapid antigen no older than 48 hours) and quarantine for ten days until further notice. The list of countries with variant of concern is updated regularly by the Swiss government updated regularly by the Swiss government:
    • This regulation also applies to anyone who has visited/spent time in the listed countries in the previous 14 days (excluding transit less than 24 hours). 
  • Exemptions to countries with variant of concern mandatory quarantine requirements:
    • Persons who as transit passengers have stayed less than 24 hours in a country or area with an increased risk of infection. 
    • Persons coming from countries with variant of concern that has been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine(see Covid-19 Vaccination requirements) or person that has fully recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months (must show approved valid certificate).
  • If the Swiss authorities ask upon arrival, please provide your school address as the location where you will stay:     
Does a negative PCR test result exempt me from the mandatory quarantine requirement?
  • No, as per Swiss Federal directive, persons coming from countries with variant of concern must quarantine, whether the test result is negative or not, as it does not completely rule out infection nor potential transmission.
    • Exceptions include people who have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine or who have fully recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months (must show approved valid certificate)
I was vaccinated before in my own country, do I need to quarantine?
  • Persons coming from countries with variant of concern that have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine or persons that have fully recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months (must show approved valid certificate) may be exempted from the quarantine, but you must still provide a negative entry test result at the border (PCR test no older than 72 hours or Rapid Antigen test no older than 48 hours).
  • Other requirements if vaccinated in a country other than Switzerland:
    • Must be fully vaccinated (have received all the shots).
    • Vaccination must be approved (see Covid-19 Vaccination requirement) by the Swiss Authorities.
    • It must be no later than 6 months from the time you were fully vaccinated.

 

What should I expect when I arrive on campus? 
  • Upon arrival on campus, students will have their temperature checked, complete a health survey, receive health and safety information and a face mask.
  • Anyone presenting flu symptoms, a fever, breathing difficulties, or respiratory problems will immediately quarantine on campus, and all necessary support will be provided.
  • Quarantine on campus is mandatory for students arriving from the list of countries with variant of concern updated and valid from June 26, 2021:
    • Persons coming from countries with variant of concern that have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine or persons that have fully recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months (must show approved valid certificate) may be exempted from the quarantine, but you must still provide a negative entry test result at the border (PCR test no older than 72 hours or rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours).
  • Students will receive information in a dedicated induction session during arrival weekend, including Student Counselor opening hours, contacts for medical advice, etc. Students will also complete any outstanding forms, such as emergency contacts, medical history forms, etc.   
  • In the interest of our staff’s safety, students and pre-approved visitors’ face masks must be worn in all indoor public areas on campus (including in classrooms).
What type of Health & Safety measures can I expect on campus? 
  • Face masks are mandatory in all indoor public areas (including on campus and in classrooms). Masks must be worn while in the campus restaurants and only removed once seated at the table.
  • Hand sanitizers and face masks are available to everyone on all campuses and in all administrative offices.
  • Temperature checks are carried out daily during the first two weeks of a new term for all staff, students, and pre-approved visitors. Checks take place at the campus reception area, where a face mask is also provided. 
  • We encourage everyone to maintain strict social distancing (in Switzerland, the minimum distance is 1.5 meters). The use of approved disinfecting products is encouraged.
  • Download the SwissCovid tracing app (on Google Play Store or Apple Apps Store)
  • All external visitors are required to seek formal approval before considering visiting a campus.
  • Additional cleaning and disinfection of campuses, particularly public areas. 
  • Every student, staff member, and pre-approved visitor must fill out a health questionnaire before entering our campus premises. Staff or visitors showing symptoms of flu, fever (38°C+), breathing difficulties, or respiratory problems will not be allowed on campus.
  • Class group timetables are arranged to have a steady flow of students at meals and optimize restaurant space.
  • Priority medical appointments are available for any student who require medical assistance – please contact the Front Desk or the Residence Management Team.
  • Any activity outside regular classes and meals is monitored and all social distancing measures are followed. We continually follow the latest governmental mandates for any updates.
When do I need to self-quarantine? 
  • In case of flu-like symptoms or upon arrival from High-Risk country:
    • Students who are worried that they may have flu-like symptoms should phone the Student Counselor and, if not available, the Resident Management Team that is available 24/7.
  • Quarantine, when required, takes place on campus. The academic and operations teams will provide you with all the necessary support during this time. 
  • Any student who is in self-quarantine on campus will be required to stay in the provided accommodation. They will not be permitted to interact with any other person. A staff member will check up on students in self-quarantine each day to follow up on the daily preventative measures and provide meal service.
Is it possible to be vaccinated in Switzerland? How do I go about it?
  • Yes, students can be vaccinated during their stay in Switzerland without charge if all criteria are met.
  • During the induction session with the Student Counselor you will receive the relevant information and will be supported on how/where to subscribe.
Is there a testing plan carried out on campus?
  • During the arrival weekend, all students must undertake self-testing with the school (these tests will be received during check in):
    • Students arriving by plane can show the Swiss Entry required test (PCR test no older than 72 hours or rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours).
    • Students who have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine (see Covid-19 Vaccination requirement) or who have fully recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months (must show approved valid certificate) are exempt from doing the self-test.
  • The self-test is then to be done weekly by each of the students and will be verified with the campus Front Desk team as per instructions received upon arrival on campus:
    • Students who have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine or who have fully recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months (must show approved valid certificate) are exempt from doing the self-test.
Is Covid-19 PCR testing available while on campus?
  • Yes, it is possible to get tested in case of concern or if any symptoms are being displayed (there may be a cost incurred). For further details, please refer to the Student Counselor.
  • PCR testing is carried out by a doctor, medical or testing center, with results available within 48 hours. 
  • In case of symptoms, students awaiting PCR test results must self-quarantine.
Self-Tests
  • Each student is entitled to 5 tests every 30 days free of charge. The antigen self-test is available at your local pharmacy upon presentation of the health insurance card.
    • The first self-test package (5 tests) will be provided during check-in but once the students receive their health insurance cards, self-tests must be collected at the local pharmacy.
  • Please note: The self-test is not a substitute to the hygiene and social distancing but an added layer of prevention. The self-test should be done in advance of activities or organized group events (such as before an outdoor BBQ or table tennis tournament), while respecting the social distancing measures. To make sure the self-test is done correctly, an official instructional video has been created by the Swiss authorities.
  • In the following situations, it is NOT advised to use a self-test and instead to get tested by a medical professional:
    • If you show coronavirus symptoms.
    • If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
    • If you are in quarantine.
    • If you need a negative test result to enter or leave Switzerland, only a PCR test is accepted.
What if I have more questions? Where should I go for answers?
  • Contact your Student Counselor, Front Desk or any other staff member on campus if you have any concerns or require support. In addition, we have a dedicated email address by school for any questions linked to the coronavirus pandemic: contact@him.ch

 

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