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Calendar: When can Swiss residents travel abroad this summer?

With coronavirus border restrictions gradually being loosened, Swiss residents are thinking again about their summer vacations. Where can we go - and when?

Calendar: When can Swiss residents travel abroad this summer?
AFP

For the first time in the lifetimes of many people living in Switzerland, borders have been shuttered. 

While this has separated families and made work difficult for tens of thousands, it's also put people's summer holidays on ice. 

The Local Switzerland has assessed the current border policies of dozens of European countries to break down where Swiss residents can make a getaway this summer – and when. 

The following map breaks down each country, with the list of countries – and the border opening dates – given below. 

Note: Border policies are subject to change and remain at the discretion of the responsible country. 

Always check with the responsible country if you will be able to enter with the passport(s) you hold. 

The following information is correct at date of publication, but please get in touch with [email protected] if you have had a different experience. 

Where to this summer?

Some countries have already opened their borders, while others have so far not indicated when they will be opening this summer. 

Countries in orange have already opened their borders completely, while those in beige are open pursuant to some form of quarantine.* 

Those in light blue will open in May or June (dates included below), while those in dark blue have so far not indicated when they will allow entry from Swiss visitors. 

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Which countries – and when?
 
Entry already available
Belarus, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden,

Entry pursuant to quarantine period

Great Britain,* Greece, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Romania

*The UK's quarantine – which includes some exceptions – remains subject to judicial review. 

Entry allowed in summer at various dates

Albania (May 18), Lithuania (May 31), Italy (June 6th), Germany, Austria, France, Iceland, Switzerland (June 15), Faroe Islands (June 30)

Entry allowed only with negative corona test results 

Serbia 

Entry date as yet unknown

Andorra, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican

 

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HEALTH

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I’m abroad?

Given how expensive health insurance premiums are in Switzerland, you may be tempted to suspend your policy while you are abroad. Is this possible?

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I'm abroad?

Unlike the obligatory car insurance, which you can suspend temporarily by depositing your registration plates at the local motor vehicles office, rules pertaining to health insurance are much stricter.

As the Federal Office of Public Health explains it, “If you leave the country for a certain period to travel or study but do not take up residence abroad, you are still required to have [health] insurance in Switzerland”.

In other words, as long as you are a registered resident of Switzerland, regardless of your nationality or passport, you must keep your compulsory Swiss health insurance and pay your premiums. While you do this, you also remain covered against most medical emergencies while you travel.

However, rules are less stringent for supplemental health plans which can, in some cases, be put on hold, depending on the insurance provider, according to Switzerland’s Moneyland consumer website.

The only exception allowed for suspending the health insurance coverage is during a military or civil protection service which lasts more than 60 consecutive days.

“During these periods, the risks of illness and accident are covered by military insurance. Your health insurance provider will refund your premiums”, according to FOPH.

Under what circumstances can you cancel your Swiss health insurance?

Swiss law says you can cancel your insurance if you are moving abroad, either permanently for for a period exceeding three months.

If you do so, only claims for treatments given while you still lived in Switzerland will be paid by your insurance; any medical bills for treatment incurred after you officially leave will be denied.

These are the procedures for cancelling your compulsory health insurance if you leave the country under conditions mentioned above

To announce your departure abroad, you must send your insurance carrier a letter including your name, customer number or AVS/AHV number.

You must also include a certificate from your place of residence in Switzerland confirming that you have de-registered from your current address, as well as the date of your departure.

Note, however, that if your new destination is another Swiss community / canton, rather than a foreign country, your insurance can only be cancelled from the following calendar year and only if you present proof of having taken up a new policy with another company.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to register your address in Switzerland

You can find out more information about this process here

If you suspend your health insurance for less than six years, you can reactivate it at a later date with the same company when you return to Switzerland.

READ MORE : What you should know about your Swiss health insurance before you go abroad
 

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