Logistics

Practical Information

Welcome and thank you for your interest in participating in the United Nations World Data Forum 2021, which will be held from Sunday, 3 to Wednesday, 6 October 2021 in a hybrid format, in Bern, Switzerland.

FOR A SUSTAINABLE UN WORLD DATA FORUM

Since the conference is linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we strive to ensure that the event is as sustainable as possible. We strongly encourage you to follow our recommendations and to behave in a sustainable way. Thank you!

To see the sustainability concept of the UNWDF 2021: https://roadtobern.swiss/sustainability/

TRAVELLING TO SWITZERLAND AND COVID-19-SITUATION IN SWITZERLAND

We are closely monitoring the situation around Covid-19 in Switzerland, in Europe and worldwide. The situation in Switzerland and Europe is stable with a regional increase. We are aware that outbreaks are to be expected at all times. We provide the latest information on our site during the coming weeks and months.

The information about travelling to Switzerland and the health situation updated on this page (update done on 20 September 2021):


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All participants of the UN World Data Forum requiring a visa will receive a letter of support from the Swiss Confederation (see below further information on the registration and visa process).

On 17. September 2021 the Swiss Federal Council has released new measures to contain the spread of Covid-19. Therefore, we would like to inform all participants arriving in Switzerland to attend the 3rd UN World Data Forum in person, about the new regulations that will enter into force as of Monday, 20 September 2021.

All attendees arriving in Switzerland with all means of transport (train, plane, car, bus, etc.) are required by law to fill out a “Passenger Locator Form” (SwissPLF).

Attendees with an internationally recognized certificate of full vaccination or certificate of recovery from Covid-19 (valid for 6 months) are exempt from any further measures.

Attendees that are neither vaccinated, nor have they recovered from Covid-19 are required to show a valid test (PCR or Antigen-Rapid Test) upon entering Switzerland. Furthermore, the participant is required to pursue a second test in between the 4th and 7th day after arrival in Switzerland. The result of this second test must be submitted to the Cantonal authorities.

Also, the travel check gives you the information you need.

In addition to these measures, the access to the venue (Kursaal Bern) is exclusively reserved to confirmed participants being able to show either a valid certificate of full vaccination, or certificate of full recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result (PCR or Antigen-Rapid Test). We will provide as soon as possible more details.

Therefore, the Swiss hosts have put in place a testing facility on-site which is accessible to all registered participants free of charge and requiring a valid Antigen-Rapid Test to obtain access.

We do strongly recommend to have your confirmation of in-person attendance with you when accessing the venue.

 We invite all participants to contact the airline to verify the boarding conditions. Some airlines ask for additional measures that are not required by Switzerland.

Please note that your country of residence may impose quarantine and access restrictions when returning from Switzerland! Therefore please do also verify your home-country’s travel policy before departing to Switzerland!

REGISTRATION PROCESS / SECURITY BADGE COLLECTION

To participate in the United Nations World Data Forum, you will be able to register via the UNWDF page starting from 15 July until 31 August.
Upon confirmation of your attendance, you will receive a formal confirmation, which will allow you to collect your personalised security badge at the venue. If you need a visa, you also will receive an invitation letter by the Swiss Confederation.
If you have any questions regarding the registration, please contact us under dataforum@un.org

CONFERENCE VENUE

Kursaal Bern
Kornhausstrasse 3
3000 Bern
Tel. +41 31 339 55 00, Website: https://kursaal-bern.ch/en

ACCESS TO THE VENUE:
Please note: construction works will most probably be taking place in the neighbourhood during the time of the UNWDF. You should therefore expect restrictions on parking spaces and public transport around Viktoriaplatz, as well as a change in traffic routing, and pay careful attention to the indications below.

The Kursaal Bern / Swissôtel Kursaal Bern has two entrances, one towards the Kornhausbrücke and one at the Schänzlistrasse. Both are open, the entrance at the Schänzlistrasse is newly equipped with a ramp.

FOR YOUR ARRIVAL:

  • On foot and by bike you can reach us as usual via the Kornhausbrücke and the Kornhausstrasse.
  • When using the public transportation you can take the replacement bus (in the direction of Wankdorf Bahnhof) for tram line number 9: It goes from Bern Central station to the Optingenstrasse (near the Viktoriaplatz). You can reach the Schänzlistrasse entrance by foot in a few minutes. Bernmobil plan  Free public transportation
  • The route by car to the Kursaal Bern /Swissôtel Kursaal Bern is signposted. There is a traffic service at pall critical points – but please use the public transport – it is more sustainableIt is not possible to drive to the entrance in the direction of the Kornhausbrücke. The Kornhausbrücke and the Kornhausstrasse are closed off to cars. Drive via the designated detours to the entrance at the Schänzlistrasse. The Kursaal parking (Schänzlihalde) is still open. The Schänzlihalde street is passable in both directions during this time

VISA PROCESS FOR SWITZERLAND

In light of the current entry restrictions taken by the Swiss authorities in response to the coronavirus, persons subject to visa requirements are invited to submit their application in accordance with the usual procedures to the Swiss representation responsible for the person’s place of residence. Please visit the website of the responsible Swiss representation for further information regarding the rules of entry into Switzerland, necessary documents (e.g. travel insurance etc.) to request a visa and details to book an appointment. Persons in possession of a valid visa as well as persons exempted from visa requirements must inquire about boarding requirements. If necessary, the Swiss representation responsible for the person’s place of residence may issue a laissez-passer free of charge. For sanitary measures, please consult the website of the Federal Office of Public Health.

If you require a visa or a Laissez-passer to enter Switzerland and informed us via the registration tool, we will confirm your in-person registration and provide you with a letter of support to your indicated e-mail address in due course. Please make sure the information you entered during registration matches your passport information, including your full name as it appears in your passport.

TRAVEL AND HEALTH INSURANCE
It is the responsibility of each participant to have adequate travel and health insurance for the whole duration of this trip. The organizer cannot be held liable for any incidents related to the travel to or within Switzerland.

SUPPORT BY EFTA

EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, will cover the costs to participate at the UNWDF 2021 for a limited number of participants from Statistical Institutes of ENP East & ENP South regions who will make a presentation. The funding will be given on a “first come-first served” base. So please, send your file with all relevant information to UNWDF@bfs.admin.ch.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

You are free to choose any hotel according to your needs and preferences. In general, we strongly recommend choosing a hotel that is within walking distance of the conference venue or easily reachable by public transportation.

To guarantee a reservation, most hotels require a valid credit card number (including expiration date). Please add the credit card details during your booking process. The hotel will possibly verify your credit card by deducting the amount of CHF 1.00. The amount will not be charged and the payment will be settled at the hotel on arrival.

These specially negotiated prices via the provided link (see below the information on the booking platform) are not valid when booked through an online operator (e.g. booking.com, etc.). The rooms will be charged in case of a no-show or a cancellation less than 48 hours before the arrival date (see the conditions received with your confirmation).

Should you require any assistance with your hotel booking, you can contact “Bern Welcome” (meetings@bern.com).

Link to the booking platform: here. The access code of the booking platform is provided to all participants of the conference along with the registration confirmation.

TRANSPORT BY AIR

In general, we recommend travelling by train and the public transport system, which is well developed in Europe and Switzerland. We understand that, depending on the point of departure, travel by plane cannot be avoided. We are therefore happy to inform you that Swiss International Air Lines (the Lufthansa Group airlines) is the Official Carrier of the UN World Data Forum in Bern as well as the other events prior to the Forum in Bern. The Swiss national airline, which operates one of the most sustainable fleets, offers all participants up to 10% discount on the standard fares. We also ask you to offset your CO2 emissions. The flight can be offset directly while conducting the booking.
More information can be found on the following website:
Compensaid – fly CO2-neutral | SWISS.

The reduced conference fares are specially marked with a white triangle and, depending on the chosen fare, allow you to change or cancel your flight with complete ease. All reductions depend on the type of fare, route and availability. They are valid on the entire Lufthansa Group route network for flights to Switzerland (flight numbers LX1 – 2999 and LX 7400 – 7465); including flights operated by partner airlines under an LX flight number (LX 8000 – 8999).

Link to the booking platform: here. The access code to the booking platform is provided to all participants of the conference along with the registration confirmation.

TRANSPORTATION FROM / TO THE AIRPORT

Bern does have a small airport. However, the nearest main airport is located in Zurich. The main travel options to reach Bern by public transportation are the following:

From Zurich Airport:
Direct train to Bern (travel time approx. 1h 20min)
Single ticket:
• 1st class – CHF 98.00
• 2nd class – CHF 56.00

From Geneva Airport:
Direct train to Bern (travel time approx. 2h)
Single ticket:
• 1st class – CHF 96.00
• 2nd class – CHF 56.00

From Basel Airport:
Bus to Basel SBB, then direct train to Bern (travel time approx. 1h 30min)
Single ticket:
• 1st class – CHF 78.00
• 2nd class – CHF 47.00

If you book your ticket in advance, you may be able to buy a supersaver ticket, which is often half price. For more information, please see the link here.

Please note that the supersaver ticket is only valid for the selected travel date and service (specific train).

Timetable information can be found on the website of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).

TRANSPORTATION IN BERN

Each hotel in Bern city will hand out a “BernTicket” which offers free public transportation in the city of Bern. Please ask for it at check-in if it is not issued automatically. On your day of arrival, your hotel reservation confirmation may be used as a transfer ticket from the railway station in Bern to your accommodation.

If you book a hotel room in Thun, please note that in order to get to the conference venue in Bern and back, you will need a ticket for public transportation. There are multiple-journey tickets available. You can find more information on this topic at any Swiss railway station or via the following link.

If the weather in Bern is still mild in October, it is also convenient and easy to get around by bike.

We are pleased to inform the conference participants that they can use PubliBike free of charge during 7 days. You need to download the PubliBike app (for free), register and you can enjoy the first 30 minutes of each ride for free.

More information how to use this offer: here. The access code the platform is provided to all participants of the conference along with the registration confirmation.

CURRENCY

Please note that Switzerland uses the Swiss franc, usually indicated as CHF. While it is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in Euros so that visitors can compare prices.
https://www1.oanda.com/currency/converter/

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

The voltage in Switzerland, as in most of Europe, is 230V/50 Hz. Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and type J (3-pin) plugs (type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets). Most power sockets are designed for three pin round plugs. The standard continental type plug with two round pins, applied for many electrical travel products, can be used without problems.

Please note that Switzerland may have different electrical plugs than used in your country (220VAC/50Hz).

INTERNET

Free wireless access is available at the convention centre. There is free WIFI in many restaurants and public buildings. In addition, travelers WiFi can also be a good way to use cheap internet.

INTERPRETATION / WORKING LANGUAGE

The working language of the UN World Data Forum 2021 is English. We provide International Sign Interpretation for the plenary sessions. No other simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

TEMPERATURES

The average temperature in Bern during the time of the conference may range from 5°to 15° degrees Celsius. Please check the weather forecast prior to your departure: MeteoSwiss

TIME ZONE IN SWITZERLAND

Together with the other European countries of the CET time zone, Switzerland applies summer time between the last Sunday of March and the last Sunday of October (CET + 1 hour).

EMERGENCIES / QUESTIONS

The local number for all emergencies is 112.
For other emergencies directly related to your attendance at the UN World Data Forum 2021, you may contact the Event Team at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs at sts.events@eda.admin.ch .