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Does the coronavirus affect trips to Switzerland?


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Arno
Arno
14588 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 23, 2020 - 7:32 AM

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (last update October 26, 2021)

Important notes:

  • We carefully and frequently update the below information and everything else regarding the coronavirus throughout our website, but none of the information is guaranteed. Always double check with your travel organization and ministry of foreign affairs.
  • All of the below applies to traveling into Switzerland. Please check whether your country of residence has imposed any restrictions for outgoing or returning travelers.
  • We consider the country list compiled by Switzerland Tourism as the main source of corona related travel restrictions. You can download it at the bottom of this post.
  • If you need a test in Switzerland, please see www.myswitzerland.com/en/planning/about-switzerland/covid-pcr-test/ for test locations.

1. Can I visit Switzerland?

A list published by the State Secretariat of Migration (SEM) indicates from which countries entry is not allowed. These will be exceptions. For travelers from all other countries, these rules apply:

  • All travelers have to fill out an entry form: https://swissplf.admin.ch/formular. It's officially called "Passenger Locator Form" or PLF. Your data will be stored for 14 days.
  • Travelers that are fully vaccinated and/or recovered from COVID (please refer to #2 and #4) can enter without further restrictions.
  • Travelers that aren't fully vaccinated and/or recovered from COVID have to present a recent negative antigen or PCR test result upon arrival. If this can't be provided, they'll immediately have to take a (paid) test after arrival. Another (paid) antigen or PCR test has to be done after 4-7 days in Switzerland. The result has to be sent digitally to the relevant cantonal office. If either test result is positive, travelers have to go into quarantine and contact a cantonal medical service within 2 days.
  • You can use travelcheck.admin.ch/check for entry measures for your situation.
  • Exceptions:
    • Children under 16 don't have to be tested.
    • Travelers who are in Switzerland for a transit journey without stopping don't have to fill out the entry form and don't have to be tested.
    • Commuters and travelers from bordering areas don't have to fill out the entry from and don't have to be tested. Bordering areas include Baden-Württemberg and Bayern in Germany, Tirol in Austria and Franche-Comté in France. A fulll overview is available at https://www.ezv.admin.ch.
  • There will be random checks during flights, international bus/train rides, at borders and by cantonal authorities. Travelers that don't apply to the rules can be fined.
  • Note that a Swiss or EU COVID-certificate is required to enter restaurants, bars, musea and other public areas in Switzerland. Please refer to #7.

2. Who is considered vaccinated?

  • People who are fully vaccinated up to 12 months before their trip with one of the below vaccines. Proof is required. EU citizens can use the EU COVID-19 certificate.
  • Approved by the Swiss authorities:
    • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26 COV2 S)
    • Moderna (mRNA-1273/Spikevax)
    • Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2/Comirnaty/Tozinameran)
  • Additionally approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency):
    • AstraZeneca (AZD1222 Vaxzevria/Covishield)
  • Additionally approved by the WHO:
    • Sinopharm/BIBP (Vero Cell)
    • Sinovac (CoronaVac)

3. Who is considered tested negative for Covid-19?

  • People who can show a negative antigen test or PCR test of up to 48 hours old. EU citizens can use the EU COVID-19 certificate.

4. Who is considered recovered from Covid-19?

  • People who recovered from Covid-19 up to 6 months + 11 days before their trip. Proof is required. EU citizens can use the EU COVID-19 certificate.

5. How does the Swiss COVID-certificate work, and where can I get one?

Almost everything is open and operational. For many public spaces such as hotels, restaurants and museums, a Swiss or EU COVID-certificate (with proof of vaccination, being recovered or a negative test result) is required.

You can obtain your certificate here (relevant for people that don't live in Switzerland or the EU):

More details:

  • This certificate is required for anyone aged 16 years and older.
  • Costs are CHF 30 per person.
  • The Swiss COVID-certificate is available to tourists fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by a the Swiss medical authorities and the EMA (refer to #2). Plans are to make it available for those vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm too.
  • You'll apply through the canton in which you spend your first night. But the certificate is valid in all of Switzerland.
  • Processing times differ for each canton, but you should normally receive confirmation within 5 days.
  • The certificate is a digital document. You can add it to your COVID-19 certificate app or download it in PDF format.
  • The certificate will probably be valid for 30 days.
  • The areas that can be entered with a certificate will no longer require social distancing rules or the use of face masks.
  • For basic needs, such as supermarkets and most public transportation, you don't need a certificate.

The tourist certificate will probably be valid for 30 days. Once this is confirmed, we'll update this information. Current validity for the Swiss COVID-certificate is as follows:

  • For fully vaccinated people: 365 days, starting from the day of the last vaccination.
  • For recovered people: 180 days, starting from 11 days after the positive test result. This might change into 365 days starting from positive test result, or 90 days starting from a serological antibody test showing a past COVID-infection.
  • For people with a negative PCR test result: 72 hours, starting from taking the test sample.
  • For people with negative antigen test: 48 hours, starting from taking the test sample.

Links with information about the COVID-certificate:

6. Which official sources for the coronavirus situation in Switzerland are available?

7. What's the current status in Switzerland?

VACCINATION STATUS

The vaccination of the Swiss population started 23 December 2020. The current status:

  • Switzerland: 66% (at least one dose), 63% (fully vaccinated) (source)
  • European Union: 80% (at least one dose), 75% (fully vaccinated) (source)

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Public transport to, from and in Switzerland is operational. On international train trips, delays may occur due to COVID-certificate checks. See www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-europe/corona-international-rail-travel.html for details.

A COVID-certificate (see #7) is generally not required for public transport and not in airport transit areas. Instead, you should keep a distance of 1,5 m and wear a face mask. This can briefly be taken off to eat or drink. Travelers can best pay cashless as much as possible.

Some special panorama trains and catering zones of trains and boats do require a COVID-certificate. An example is the Glacier Express: www.glacierexpress.ch/en/menu/services/aktuelle-lage.

SWISS COVID APP

The 'SwissCovid' app helps tracing the coronavirus and warns users if they have may have been exposed to the virus. Using it is not obligatory, but recommended: www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/swisscovid-app-und-contact-tracing.html.

8. What can MySwissAlps.com do to help me?
We regularly update this thread and the information here: 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.

Stay safe and enjoy Switzerland!

Last modified on Oct 26, 2021 - 12:32 PM by Arno
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Nitya Singha
Nitya Singha
15 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2020 - 4:51 PM

Thank you very much. I would be grateful if you keep on updating this thread with latest news. Sincerely appreciated.

Yenhan10
Yenhan10
16 posts
new member
Feb 24, 2020 - 1:26 AM

Do Switzerland government ban flights from China or the countries with Covid-19 cases?

Angel7105
Angel7105
33 posts
active member
Feb 24, 2020 - 5:39 AM

hi,

Thanks for the updating of the Covid 19 new in switzerland. We plan to purchase Swiss travel pass for coming trip. Once, bought. Can we get refund ?

Angel7105

Arno
Arno
14588 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 24, 2020 - 8:05 AM in reply to Yenhan10

Hi Yenhan10,

As far as I know this is not the case yet, but some airlines have cancelled flights. Please check the links to get the latest news.

Arno
Arno
14588 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 24, 2020 - 8:06 AM in reply to Angel7105

Hi Angel7105,

Please see my original post, I just updated it.

Yenhan10
Yenhan10
16 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2020 - 4:10 PM

Oh my god, so there's already a case in Switzerland?

Does it affect the Bernina Express which travel to Tirano? Is Tirano being lockdown?

Arno
Arno
14588 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 25, 2020 - 5:56 PM in reply to Yenhan10

Hi Yenhan10,

This does not affect any travel within Switzerland at the moment, nor to Tirano. Tirano is in the Milan region (Lomdbardia), but not near the quarantined towns.

Last modified on Feb 25, 2020 - 6:05 PM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Feb 27, 2020 - 9:52 AM
Last modified on Feb 27, 2020 - 9:53 AM by rockoyster
ChriskK
ChriskK
9 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2020 - 5:42 PM

Currently, 14 cases :-(

www.swissinfo.ch/eng/covid-19_switzerland-confirms-second-coronavirus-case/45582788

The risk is still low, but the question is, "Will we be able to enjoy our trip?" We are scheduled to leave for Zurich on March 10th to explore Jungfrau and Zermatt.

Anna
Anna
1580 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 28, 2020 - 6:38 PM

Hi all,

To contain the spread, the federal office has issued a temporary ban on events involving more than 1000 people. So the Basel Fasnacht Parade and the Zurich Fasnacht Parade this weekend are both cancelled or scaled down.

Anna

Peterli
Peterli
1203 posts
top member
Feb 28, 2020 - 7:11 PM

The following is a detailed report in today's RTN: www.rtn.ch/rtn/Actualite/Region/20200228-La-Confederation-interdit-les-manifestations-de-plus-de-1-000-personnes.html It is en français but if you are using Chrome which was installed in English, you can right-click and then select "Translate to English". Si vous comprenez déjà le français, ce n'est pas nécessaire.

This interdiction of all gatherings of over 1000 people is (for now) up to March 15 but as things develop, this date could be extended by order of the Conseil fédéral.

Interesting to note that some events, such as hockey playoffs (like the Ajoie - La Chaux-de-Fonds series), will carry on, but in arenas with no spectators (à huis-clos).

Last modified on Feb 28, 2020 - 7:45 PM by Peterli
Peterli
Peterli
1203 posts
top member
Feb 29, 2020 - 5:36 AM

The attached map shows the ten communes in Lombardia that were under lockdown as of February 29. These are Codogno, Casalpusterlengo, Castiglione d'Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, and Vo' Euganeo. All of these are located to the south-east of Milano between the cities of Lodi and Cremona. I have added a green oval around Tirano to show the distance between it and Milan and the above-mentioned communes.

Anna
Anna
1580 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 29, 2020 - 7:03 AM in reply to Peterli

Thanks Peterli.

Peterli
Peterli
1203 posts
top member
Feb 29, 2020 - 6:44 PM

Here is an update concerning the canton of Berne from RJB: (Google translation from French).

The canton of Bern takes an even more drastic measure than the Confederation to fight against the coronavirus, it requests to cancel the demonstrations of less than 1000 people if a traceability is not possible.

Small events will also be affected by containment measures related to the coronavirus. Until Friday evening, only events involving more than 1,000 people were affected by a ban on assembly. At 7 p.m., the canton of Bern indicated in a press release that the measure was extended to demonstrations of less than 1,000 people if international participation could not be excluded. The measure is in effect until March 15 at least. The cantonal management body (OCCant) has taken the lead in coronavirus operations in the canton.

Not all gatherings are prohibited, but the canton requires guarantees. "Events of less than 1,000 people are still possible, provided that the organizers are able to prove that no participant has returned from a region affected by Covid-19 in the previous 14 days," say the authorities which further specify that the organizers "must also guarantee that the identity of the participants is known in order to be able to trace their contacts if necessary". The children's carnival in Moutier paid the price for this new measure. The organizers announced its cancellation late Friday evening.

Schools, on the other hand, will be able to resume lessons normally on Monday. If establishments were to close, the measure would be ordered by the cantonal doctor and communicated without delay.

The canton of Bern opened a hotline on Friday at 3 p.m. In particular, event organizers can find out about the situation and the conditions to be fulfilled (tel. 0800 634 634). All other information relating to the situation in the canton of Bern is gathered on this website

Vigneshlabam
Vigneshlabam
10 posts
new member
Mar 3, 2020 - 7:20 AM

Hi Arno,

Considering that the number of detected cases of people suffering from Corona virus has grown almost 3times in the last 2 days (15 to 42), is a trip from March 6 to March 15 still advisable? How are tourist activities like sight seeing and sports activities affected ? Is the general population taking extreme precautionary steps like wearing masks, working from home, cancelling appointments, etc?

gramels
gramels
49 posts
active member
Mar 3, 2020 - 7:41 AM

Life seems normal here in Zürich, where I live. I walked along the lake Sunday in nice weather, lot of people.

Mountain railways (such as Rigi Bahn) operate as normal.

Just more washing hands, less kissing and shaking hands for greeting.

Peterli
Peterli
1203 posts
top member
Mar 3, 2020 - 7:54 AM

Here is the latest information from Swissinfo: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/in-depth/coronavirus

Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
Mar 3, 2020 - 9:10 AM in reply to Vigneshlabam

Hi Vigneshlabam,

As stated by gramels, life continues quite normally, at least from an every-day aspect. People try to avoid shaking hands as well as other physical contact to "strangers", use lots of desinfectant, wash their hands often, etc.

The tour operator I work for operates all the tours to all destinations as usual, providing desinfectant and face masks to whoever wants one.

The Swiss Federal government has for the time being (end of March currently) banned activities with more than 1'000 members, such as football and icehockey games, concerts, etc. to avoid masses spending too much time closely together, but for a "regular" tourist I don't think there's any restrictions so far.

I think with an overall caution of having a virus around you will be fine.

Hope this provides some input.

Keep an eye on the links provided in this thread to follow official information.

Best,
Steph

Peterli
Peterli
1203 posts
top member
Mar 3, 2020 - 1:53 PM

Here is part of a newer update from Swissinfo, posted this afternoon (March 3).

Switzerland is one of the 20 countries most affected by the coronavirus worldwide, with 46 current active cases, but no deaths. Here is an overview of the situation and official response.

What is the current situation in Switzerland?

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the government has categorised the situation in the country as “special”, under the terms of the Epidemics Act. This allows the authorities to take over certain powers from the 26 cantons and to order measures, including bans on events. The application of these legal provisions is a first for Switzerland. Specifically, the government has banned all major events with more than 1,000 people until at least March 15, 2020. Some of the cancelled events include the Geneva International Motor Show, the Baselworld watch fair,and the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva. All top-flight Swiss soccer and ice-hockey games have also been called off.

Is it possible to become infected with the new coronavirus in Switzerland?

The risk of contracting the new coronavirus in Switzerland is currently moderate, according to the Federal Office for Public Health. In Switzerland, 46 infections were confirmed by federal and cantonal health authorities by March 3, 2020 (it was 47, but one person recovered). This puts Switzerland among the 20 countries most affected by Covid-19 globally, though no deaths have been recorded. The current figures from around the world can be found here. Advice regarding hankies and handshakes was published in all major newspapers.

What do you need to consider when travelling and staying in Switzerland?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet imposed any travel restrictions. It is advisable to check when traveling to events to see if they are still taking place, as major events have been banned and cantons and cities can also ban smaller events. No special measures are currently planned for schools, day-care centres, homes and other educational or care institutions. The government has ruled out closing the borders for the time being. Swiss International Airlines has reduced the number of flights to areas with a particular risk of infection.

In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, SWISS International Airlines has extended its flight suspension to China and added Iran and Italy to the list of countries with no or limited service.

Link to the update: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/covid-19_coronavirus--the-situation-in-switzerland/45592192

Last modified on Mar 3, 2020 - 1:56 PM by Peterli

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