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HEALTH

Which countries have quarantines for Swiss arrivals?

Despite borders opening across Europe and the world, there are still some countries restricting arrivals from Switzerland.

Which countries have quarantines for Swiss arrivals?
Which countries have restricted arrivals from Switzerland. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The following countries have some form of a quarantine in place for arrivals from Switzerland: Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland. 

Estonia has said it will put in place a quarantine on Swiss arrivals if rates continue to rise. 

In some of these countries tourists are banned while others will be required to quarantine, while in others tourists and all other arrivals will need to quarantine. 

Belgium, which recently had a quarantine recommendation for arrivals from the southern Swiss canton of Ticino, has removed the restriction and now allows entry from all Swiss cantons without a quarantine. 

READ: Who is allowed to travel to Switzerland from outside the EU?

Why must Swiss arrivals quarantine? The reason for the quarantines is the increasing infection rate in Switzerland, although the respective rates differ in each of the countries. 

Finland says no

In Finland, while Swiss tourist arrivals were allowed after a long ban, a fresh ban snapped into place on Monday, July 27th. 

There are some exceptions to the ban, with Finnish citizens, family members, business travellers and owners of holiday homes still allowed to enter, subject to a 14-day quarantine. 

Finland has a low threshold of eight new infections per 100,000 people. 

Switzerland currently has a nationwide rate of 17 infections per 100,000 people, however this is higher in cantons such as Geneva (58) and Graubünden (31). 

Latvia and Lithuania

The Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania set a limit for quarantine measures at 16 infections per 100,000 people, just below Switzerland’s current amount of 17. 

READ: Will Switzerland introduce coronavirus testing at airports to cut quarantine? 

 

Like Finland, entry from Switzerland had been possible without a quarantine in previous weeks, rising infection rates in the Alpine nation has a led to the quarantine. 

This means that currently tourists are permitted to enter from Switzerland however they must complete a 14-day quarantine. 

If Switzerland’s infection rate continues to rise however, a complete ban is likely to be reinstated. Currently, arrivals from countries with an infection rate of 25 per 100,000 will be restricted. 

Estonia has a cut off of 17.5, just half a percentage point above Switzerland’s current rate. 

Ireland

Despite relaxing entry requirements for 15 other European countries in late July, Ireland kept restrictions in place for Swiss arrivals. 

Anyone arriving from Switzerland in Ireland must undergo a 14-day quarantine. 

Ireland has advised any potential arrivals to call their embassy before their planned departure. 

Editor's note: Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice. 

 

 

 

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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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