How to register for self-quarantine in Switzerland

People arriving in Switzerland from one of the countries considered to be ‘high risk’ must go into a 10-day quarantine. Here is how to announce your arrival to the authorities.

How to register for self-quarantine in Switzerland
Call the authorities and stay home. Photo by AFP

Those returning to Switzerland after a trip to one of the 42 countries where Covid-19 infection rates are high must self-quarantine for 10 days. 

This means that you must go home or to another residence immediately after arrival, and stay there for 10 days, without going out or receiving guests.

At the beginning of July, when the requirement first went into effect, the supervision of the quarantine was fairly lax, with only occasional phone checks done by the authorities. 

However, since less than half of the people returning from these countries reportedly self-quarantined, officials have tightened the monitoring process, saying they will randomly check whether people are complying with the rule.

READ MORE: ‘More than half don’t comply’: Switzerland announces stricter quarantine checks 

Those who don’t may be fined up to 1,000 francs.

According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the contact information of each traveller will be collected on flights and buses arriving in Switzerland from high-risk countries, and then handed to the destination cantons for the follow-up. 

“The contact details are used to check compliance with the quarantine”, FOPH said.

Once they arrive at their final destination in Switzerland, the travellers must register with their local health authorities within 48 hours.

FOPH has published a list indicating how and where the arrivals should get in touch with health officials in their respective cantons.

In some cantons, online forms must be filled out, while in others, travellers should announce their arrival by phone or email.

You can find all the details here.

While originally 29 countries, including the United states, were included on the ‘high risk’ list, on July 22nd authorities added 15 countries and removed two, bringing the total number to 42. 

The new additions were given retrospective effect, meaning that people who returned before the announcement will now be forced to quarantine – even if they have been in Switzerland for days. 

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Switzerland to cut quarantine period for vaccinated and extend current measures

Switzerland will shorten the obligatory quarantine for anyone testing positive for Covid to five days, while extending the current measures until at least March. The duration of immunity for the Covid certificate will also be shortened.

Swiss Interior and Health Minister Alain Berset gestures during a press conference.. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
Swiss Interior and Health Minister Alain Berset gestures during a press conference.. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Switzerland on Wednesday announced a range of changes to the existing Covid measures. 

As had been widely reported ahead of the announcement, the Covid quarantine period for positive cases was shortened from the current ten days to five for vaccinated and recovered people. 

People can leave quarantine after five days, provided they are symptom free for 48 hours. Based on the new advice, it does not appear a person needs to test negative – although the government has been contacted for a confirmation on this question. 

EXPLAINED: Why did Switzerland relax Covid quarantine rules?

The quarantine change applies both to people who have tested positive and those who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. 

“Close contact” will also be redefined. Now it will not include everyone someone with Covid has had contact with, but will be limited to the people they live with and people who had “regular and close” contact with a person who tested positive. 

The close contact quarantine will not apply to people who have had a booster in the past four months, but it will apply to those who have had two doses.

The unvaccinated will need to remain in quarantine for the original ten days. 

Cantons can decide to grant exemption to the quarantine rules. 

The duration of immunity under the rules of Switzerland’s Covid certificate will be reduced from one year to 270 days, i.e. nine months.

This is due to the belief that immunity due either to vaccination or recovery declines earlier than previously thought. 

The 270-day requirement applies to those who are fully vaccinated or to people who have previously had the virus.

This shortening of the time period for the validity of the Covid certificate will apply from February 1st, as with the EU’s rules for international travel. 

The current Covid measures, which are outlined in the link below, will also be extended. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s current Covid measures?

While they were set to expire on January 24th, they will now be extended until March 31st. 

The government said the extension was necessary due to the situation in the country’s hospitals. 

Amid skyrocketing infection rates, the Swiss government said it had prepared additional measures which could be implemented quickly and immediately if the situation required it. 

“Should the situation in hospitals deteriorate significantly, the Federal Council can still act swiftly by imposing stricter measures such as the closure of facilities and institutions or by limiting capacity at large-scale events, regardless of the consultation,” the government said in a press release

The government is currently in consultation with experts and the cantons about these and further measures, including tighter mask rules and a change in testing rules.

This consultation will last until the 17th of January, however those listed here are expected to apply. 

For the full list of changes announced you can visit the government site HERE.