Switzerland’s ski resorts breathed a sigh of relief when the government lifted from Saturday quarantine restrictions imposed due to the Omicron variant, which had triggered an avalanche of booking cancellations. The wealthy Alpine nation had slapped 10-days’ quarantine on anyone flying in from countries where the new Covid-19 variant of concern had been detected, in a bid to stop its spread. That included Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands — the three main sources of tourists heading to the Swiss slopes. The crackdown had threatened to wreck the vital Christmas period for a seasonal sector struggling to recover from the pandemic’s impact last winter. “It is a huge relief that the quarantine requirement, which was a de facto travel ban, has been dropped,” the Swiss tourism agency said. Instead, travellers must do a PCR test before arrival in Switzerland, plus a second test four to seven days later. The tourist agency welcomed the testing-only system, saying people were already familiar with tests and “they give guests a feeling of security and remove uncertainties when planning visits”. The quarantine requirement was first imposed on November 26, but Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announced Friday that it was being removed from Saturday onwards. “It no longer makes sense to maintain quarantine for people coming from countries where this variant is circulating because it’s also circulating here,” he said. The impact of the quarantine requirement had been immediate. Planning had become “impossible”, said Sabrina Marcolin, spokeswoman for the tourist office in Zermatt, Switzerland’s busiest ski resort, in the shadow of the country’s iconic Matterhorn mountain.