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Switzerland travel planning and the coronavirus

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How to use these tips

If you visit Switzerland, follow the rules provided by the authorities and by transportation, catering and accommodation companies.

We’re not doctors: check official medical organizations for reliable health information.

Check your cancellation options

It’s good to know what happens in case you have to cancel your bookings.

  • Check hotel booking policies: many hotels can be cancelled free of charge on short notice. Please find suggested hotels here.
  • Check train/plane ticket cancellation options. Swiss Travel Passes are normally 85% refundable if cancelled before the start date. The rest might be covered by your travel insurance. If you're not sure you will travel, do not buy your Swiss Travel Pass until 3 business days before your trip. Most retailers deliver the pass via e-mail within 30 minutes, or 2 working days in some cases. Please find a retailer list here and more on how/where to buy here. Please find other train ticket and pass details here.
  • If you have to cancel: don't do so too early. If you cancel closer to your trip, you'll have a better chance of special cancellation policies being in place. To cancel, please contact the company you purchased from.

Check your health and travel insurances

  • Make sure you're covered for unexpected medical expenses, and check if your coverage is sufficient for Switzerland.
  • Consider a cancellation insurance, which can help if refunds are not possible through the companies you booked with. Read the fine print. Cancellation can be done for many reasons, and not all reasons are necessarily covered. Epidemic outbreaks often are not.
  • Some companies offer ‘cancel for any reason’ or CFAR insurances. These insurances allow you to cancel no matter what reason you have, and your reason doesn’t have to be explicitly mentioned in the conditions. CFAR options are usually more expensive, and not all travelers qualify. For example: you mostly have to request for a CFAR insurance within a limited amount of days (typically ranging from 10 to 21) after your trip booking, and cancel no less than 48 hours before the scheduled departure.

Plan your journey to Switzerland

Where to get a Covid-19 test in Switzerland

You may need a negative Covid-19 test result in Switzerland, for example for your return journey. There are several testing locations available for tourists: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-id/planning/about-switzerland/covid-pcr-test/. Commercial test centers are also available at Zurich Airport: fly.enderdiagnostics.com.

Please check with your travel and medical insurance if the costs are covered.

Rapid antigen detection tests, to be used as self-tests, are available in Swiss pharmacies, drugstores and shops.

Learn about traveling in Switzerland in corona times

  • If you want or need to wear face masks: you can easily buy them in Switzerland. They're available online or in Swiss pharmacies, supermarkets, kiosks and many other shops.
  • If you want to avoid crowds while traveling, follow these guidelines:
    • Avoid rush hours in trains and cable cars. Quieter times of the day are the early morning, the late morning to early afternoon, and the late evening.
    • Plan your trips in advance.
    • Get rail passes and tickets online in advance as well.

Check retailers and tour operator policies

Check the recommendations provided by tour operators and retailers of travel products. They'll also explain about their cancellation policies. Our main partners can be found here.

Watch for the 'Clean & Safe' label for Swiss tourism companies

Tourism-related companies with the 'Clean & Safe' commit to stick to all Swiss safety measures that apply in their industry. The label can help you choose hotels, restaurants and day trips you feel comfortable with. Find out more at www.myswitzerland.com.

Choose accommodation

  • Some hotels may ask for a mask or for other hygiene procedures. Please follow those guidelines. Hotel tips can be found here.
  • Holiday homes on quieter spots and with a private entrance can be rented, often for longer stays of at least one week. Find options here.
  • Camping tips are available here.
  • B&b’s and Airbnb’s can be considered too. Please read our precautions here.

Choose regions and base towns

Do you prefer quiet, small towns over busier tourist hubs? We mention suggestions for smaller towns below:

Choose activities and book tours under favorable conditions

  • Do you want to avoid potentially crowded places? Choose quiet times (early morning or late afternoon) for popular places like mountain tops.
  • Consider to enjoy the scenery while hiking instead.
  • If you want to book tours, it’s good to know that some tour operators offer favorable cancellation conditions. For example, they allow you to pay later or cancel on short notice. Check conditions for the trip and the tour operator you're interested in.

Dine and shop on quiet locations

If you want to avoid crowds, choose quieter times of the day. Have a late breakfast for example. Or pick a late warm lunch instead of dinner. Many Swiss restaurants serve excellent, extensive warm lunches.

You may also shop for your own food. Swiss supermarkets have a wide selection of products, suitable for nearly any taste or diet.

Save money

Are you traveling on a budget? Find our tips to save money here.

Stay informed before and during your trip

Make sure you plan or adjust trips based on recent information.

  • Check this forum thread for up-to-date information.
  • Consult local/national news while there, for example through the SwissInfo website or app.
  • You can install the Alertswiss app to get notified in case of emergencies.
  • Find more apps, websites and phone numbers here.
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