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EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland is ‘the world’s safest country for travellers’

What makes this Alpine nation so safe for travelers?

EXPLAINED: Why Switzerland is 'the world’s safest country for travellers'

According to the 2020 Ranking of the World's Safest Countries by the travel insurance comparison website Insurly, Switzerland is the world's most secure travel destination.

How did Switzerland get the top rating?

Top scores that Switzerland received are a result of a variety of factors. Insurly ranked 180 countries worldwide based on various risks that may happen when people travel. They include the annual number of tourists killed or injured on roads, the risks of epidemics, violence, terrorism, natural disasters, as well as whether the airlines flying into and out of the country are on the European Commission's blacklist.  

Other criteria, such as the quality of healthcare, are also taken into account.


The study also rated air quality, sanitation infrastructure, as well as risks of exposure to diseases such as yellow fever and AIDS.

In what areas did Switzerland score well?

Switzerland is the only country on the list that scored more than 90 points out of 100 in all major categories.

It scored 98 on availability of transport, 92 on health, and between 90 and 91 in risks of violence and natural disasters.

How did other countries rank?

Singapore is in the second place in terms of safety. Out of 10 top positions, eight are taken up by European nations: Norway (3), Luxembourg (4), Cyprus (5), Iceland (6), Denmark (7), Portugal (8), and Finland (9).

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the three riskiest destinations for travelers were South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland has been ranked 'best country' in the world once again

In what other ways is Switzerland safe for travelers?

One important factor is crime, and Switzerland has one of the lowest rates in Europe. 

A 2019 report revealed that when it comes to reported crime in Switzerland, the overall trend is downward. In 2018, police registered 432,754 violations of the penal code. That is 1.4 percent down on 2017 and a full 18 percent down on the 2014 figure.

For example a total of 112,000 thefts were registered by police in 2018. That is down 7.9 percent on a year earlier and almost half the number seen in 2012.

For more information on crime rates in Switzerland CLICK HERE.

The Local also reported recently how Switzerland's roads are among the safest in the world.

report released in January 2020 revealed that Switzerland's roads are safe – and getting safer. 

Only three countries in the world have a lower death rate on their roads – Singapore, Ireland and Sweden – while only two countries have a lower risk of death in the instance of a road injury (Slovenia and New Zealand). 

Is this the only recent study in which Switzerland did well in terms of safety?

No. The latest survey from the US News & World Report, released earlier this month, has also put Switzerland on top when it comes to safety. 

And in December, International SOS, a travel security risk services company, has ranked Switzerland among the world's least dangerous nations to travel in. 


And incidentally, Switzerland is also among the safest countries worldwide for expats according to a report by Internations.

In the report some 96% of expats feel personally safe in Switzerland.

The report said: “Switzerland is considered a safe place to live, with 75% of expats in Switzerland rating their personal safety as very good (vs. 48% globally) and just 1% rating the level of peacefulness there negatively, compared to 10% globally.”

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For members


What is the fine for not filling out Switzerland’s Covid arrival form?

There is one essential form all travellers to Switzerland must fill out, but many don’t. If caught, border guards will hand out fines.

A 100-franc fine could be imposed on those who don’t fill out the Personal Locator Form
Important paperwork: Switzerland-bound travellers must fill out the PLF form or risk getting fined. Photo by Zurich Airport

With constantly changing travel rules, it is difficult to keep up with all the regulations that need to be followed to enter Switzerland (and all the other countries, for that matter).

Since September 20th, everyone arriving in Switzerland, regardless of their country of origin, mode of transport, or vaccination status, must fill out the electronic Personal Location Form (PLF).

Once filled out and registered online, you will receive a QR code which you will have to show when entering Switzerland.

However, some people may be unaware of the requirement and enter the country without this form.

READ MORE: Here is the form you need to enter Switzerland

Checks are done randomly, so many travellers slip in without having filled this form. But if caught, you will have to pay a 100-franc fine.

So far, 200 people had to pay this fine, according to Tamedia media group.

The only people exempted from this rule are transit passengers, long-haul lorry drivers transporting goods across borders,  children under 16, cross-border workers, and residents of border areas.

The PLF requirement is an addition to other travel regulations the Federal Council implemented in September:

Two tests to enter Switzerland are now required for the unvaccinated and unrecovered.

Unvaccinated arrivals and those who have not contracted and recovered from the virus in the past six months must show two negative tests. 

The first proof should be presented when arriving in Switzerland.  Then, four to seven days later, travellers will have to undergo another test, which they must pay for themselves.

Both PCR and antigen results are accepted.

These rules only apply to arrivals from nations not on the Switzerland’s high-risk list. As the United States and United Kingdom are considered high risk, only vaccinated people from those countries can arrive in Switzerland.

This article contains more information on the rules which apply. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s new travel and Covid certificate rules?