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UPDATE: Which countries and regions are now on Switzerland’s quarantine list

Currently, there are 66 countries or regions on Switzerland's 'high risk' list.

UPDATE: Which countries and regions are now on Switzerland's quarantine list
Passengers arrive at Budapest Airport, with a screen showing destinations in the background. Image: GERGELY BESENYEI / AFP

This report has been updated on October 10th and is subject to change. 

Throughout the pandemic, Switzerland slammed shut its borders – even those which had not been closed for more than half a century. 

Only citizens, residents and cross-border workers were allowed to cross into Switzerland during the pandemic. 

So who is allowed to enter Switzerland and under what circumstances? Unless you fit into the above three categories, that all depends on where you are arriving from.

EXPLAINED: Who can enter Switzerland right now?

While borders have again been allowed to open, arrivals from certain 'high risk' countries will need to quarantine for ten days on arrival in Switzerland. 

Any country with more than 60 infections per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days is deemed high risk by the government and will be placed on the list. 

The issue becomes more complicated with border countries. Countries which share a border with Switzerland will have specific regions placed on the list, rather than the entire country. 

Which countries – and regions – are on Switzerland's 'high-risk' list?

Quarantine requirements will apply from certain high-risk areas from July 6th onwards. The list of countries is regularly updated by Swiss health authorities. 

There are dozens of countries on the list, along with four border countries (France, Germany, Italy and Austria) where arrivals from certain regions must quarantine. 

As at October 12th, the list includes dozens of countries or parts of countries: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria (several regions), the Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Faroe Islands, France (several regions), Georgia, Germany (Hamburg and Berlin), Gibraltar, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy (Campania, Liguria, Sardinia and Venice), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Maldives, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain (not Canary Islands), Tunisia, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

Affected people will be informed on planes, coaches and at the borders, and must register with the local authorities once in Switzerland.

Anyone who appears to be sick must not be allowed to board buses, trains or flights to Switzerland. 

READ MORE: UPDATED: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's quarantine requirement

How has this changed over time? 

The initial quarantine list had 29 countries. As of end-September, that list is now at 66. 

On August 20th, Spain's Balearic Islands, Belgium, Albania, Andorra, Aruba, Belize, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Monaco and Namibia were added to the list.

On the same day, Serbia, Singapore, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Saudi Arabia were removed.

From September 7th, people arriving in Switzerland from Croatia, Lebanon, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates will have to go into mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Belgium and Mexico were removed from the list on September 7th. 

On September 14th, people from nine regions in France and from the Austrian capital of Vienna are also required to quarantine. This was expanded to more regions at the end of September, along with Italy's Liguria.

Then on September 25th Switzerland announced that mandatory quarantine would be imposed on travellers arriving from 15 more countries, including Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands, due to their coronavirus infection rates.

The requirement also applied to seven other European countries — Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia — plus Ecuador, Jamaica, Morocco, Nepal and Oman. 

From October 12th, Hamburg and Berlin in Germany, Burgenland and Salzburg in Austria and Campania, Sardinia and Venice in Italy were added. 

In addition, the countries of Georgia, Iran, Jordan, Canada, Russia, Slovakia and Tunisia have been added to the list. Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Namibia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago were removed from October 12th.

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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For members

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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