QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (last update November 19, 2020)
Visit this page for tips regarding trip planning, cancellation and more: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus.
1. Can I visit Switzerland now?
It depends on your country of residence whether you can enter Switzerland. The country in which you've been staying before heading for Switzerland is not taken into account, so even if you've been spending some time in a 'safe' country, you may still not be allowed to enter. The option of (partially) replacing quarantine with tests for incoming tourists is being debated, but no decisions have been made yet.
The situation changes often, so please make sure to the check the links we provide below for the current status. This is the situation from 18 November 2020:
- allowed to enter and return without restrictions: residents of Sweden, Poland and Spain;
- not allowed to enter, or allowed to enter but with restrictions (such as mandatory quarantine) when entering Switzerland and/or when returning home: residents of all other countries.
Please find information about traveling to and in Switzerland, Schengen visas, tourist visas and planned border openings below:
2. What's the current coronavirus situation in Switzerland?
The exact rules differ per canton, but this is the overall situation:
- borders between Switzerland, Schengen countries and some more countries are mostly open for (tourist) traveling. Exceptions and mandatory quarantine after arrival may apply (see #1);
- wearing a face mask is mandatory for all people over 12 years old in all public buildings (such as shops, museums and public areas in hotels), in public transportation as well as on railway stations, bus and tram stops and at airports. The same goes for any outdoor area in which a distance of 1,5 m can't be kept, such as (Christmas) markets;
- for public cultural or sports events, a maximum of 50 people applies;
- for private indoor sports and cultural activities, a maximum of 15 people applies;
- for other private gatherings, a maximum of 10 people applies;
- contact sports are not allowed;
- many tourism-related companies and facilities are open. This goes for mountain transportation, train and boat rides (see #3), hotels, restaurants, museums, swimming pools, theaters, campings, etc. There may be differences per canton though;
- pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, train stations and petrol stations are open;
- in restaurants, guests can be asked to identify themselves and/or leave their contact details for tracing reasons. A maximum of 4 guests per table applies (except for families with children) and guests should be seated. They may take off their masks once seated. Bars and restaurants have to close at 23 pm;
- discos and similar clubs are closed;
- an app for tracing coronavirus cases and for warning is used. The 'SwissCovid' app can be downloaded for free and is available in 9 languages. Using it is not obligatory, but the government strongly recommends doing so.
Please find details at https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/massnahmen-des-bundes.html.
Extra hygiene rules and social distancing apply everywhere until further notice, and institutions and services have to comply to strict measures.
3. What's the current public transportation situation in Switzerland?
In short, this is the situation per type of transportation:
- wearing face masks in public transportation and at airports, railway stations, tram and bus stops is obligatory. Face masks are also required in all planes taking off and landing in Switzerland. Face masks can be bought in many shops, including the shops and kiosks at train stations. Many of the 'Selecta' snack vending machines offer face masks as well. You can also buy them online via Amazon;
- the train schedule is largely back to normal. The timetable is up-to-date. It includes all modes of transport, including cable cars and mountain trains. Alternatively, links to timetables and the latest news of individual mountain transport/boats/et cetera can be found on our activity pages: www.myswissalps.com/activities;
- mountain transportation is operating and most boat rides are available;
- tourist trains are operating. Please check timetables through the 'Route' tabs on each of our activity pages. Saver Day Passes and Supersaver tickets are available again. On-board catering and luggage services are offered too.
Train trips from and to France, Germany, Austria and Italy are possible. Night trains and night buses might be suspended though, and the timetables from/to Italy and France will be reduced between November 9 and early to mid-December. Always plan ahead carefully and check the timetable for your planned travel dates.
Further details about traveling by public transportation:
- passengers should try to keep a distance of 1,5 m. And as mentioned, wearing a face mask is required;
- travelers are asked to pay cashless as much as possible;
- transportation companies have intensified their cleaning routine;
- toilet and washing facilities at major railway stations can be used free of charge.
For more details, please see the links here: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning.
4. If I can visit Switzerland again, how should I plan my trip?
Please find our planning suggestions at www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning.
5. What can MySwissAlps.com do to help me?
This is how we help:
- we regularly update this thread and the information here: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus;
- we provide many tips for planning safe future trips: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus. Our website and moderators remain available to help you plan your holidays and to address your questions and concerns;
- if necessary, we’ll try to assist you with issues concerning bookings made through our partners.
We hope this crisis will soon be defeated and that we can all enjoy Switzerland again. Meanwhile, stay safe!
An old version of this thread is archived here: www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/coronavirus-switzerland-from-23-feb-to-25-apr-2020.