Coronavirus: Can I visit my second home in Switzerland?

Coronavirus: Can I visit my second home in Switzerland?
A house adorned with the Swiss flag in Moudon. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
With Switzerland relaxing its borders on May 11th - and with the weather improving - many people who own a second home in Switzerland are planning trips.

Whether they will be allowed to take a trip to their second home however will depend largely on their documentation – and which borders they will need to cross. 

For anyone currently in Switzerland, they will be permitted to visit their second home. For anyone outside the country, this is a little less likely. 

Switzerland has been on lockdown since March. While there have been some relaxations, border controls have remained in place – and are likely to remain all summer. 

Coronavirus border closures: How does Switzerland's family reunion exception work?

Border closures

On March 25th, Switzerland closed all its borders to everyone except citizens, residents and cross-border permit holders – while also shutting down several border crossings. 

On April 16th, the border closures were extended to prohibit cross-border shopping. On May 11th, family reunions will again be permitted – however these were limited in scope. 

As reported in the NZZ on Wednesday May 6th, a think tank looking at how to reopen the Swiss economy has called upon authorities to allow all family and work-related crossings to again take place, particular in neighbouring regions which are less affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Currently, unmarried couples and extended families are not able to cross the border to see each other. 

Representatives in border regions of France and Germany have written to the Swiss Federal Council to relax these restrictions. 

Swiss residents visiting their second home

For anyone already in Switzerland, they will be able to visit their second home without being restricted. 

Police had placed controls on some major roads in April to discourage – but not prevent – Swiss from travelling between cantons, particularly the heavily hit southern canton of Ticino. 

On May 12, Ticino reported no new fatalities or infections from the virus for the first time since February. The first infection to be detected in Switzerland was in Ticino on February 25th. 

People living outside Switzerland visiting their Swiss home

Entering for the purposes of visiting a second home is not currently allowed to non-residents of Switzerland, unless those entering have either Swiss citizenship, Swiss residency or a cross-border permit. 

Limited family reunions were allowed from May 11th, but only applies to married or registered couples or people seeing their children. Grandparents and extended families – as well as unmarried couples – are still not allowed to enter

The rules will be reconsidered on May 27th, although authorities have indicated that again allowing people to cross for the purposes of tourism is unlikely this summer

 


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