According to the UK’s latest Border Operating Model guidelines published on Thursday afternoon October 8th, only a passport will suffice for anyone hoping to enter the UK from October 1st, 2021.
The rule not only applies to Swiss citizens but also to citizens from EU states, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
Only Swiss citizens who have been living in the UK since before the 31st of December 2020 would be allowed to continue to use their Swiss ID cards to enter the UK.
UK resident Swiss would be allowed to continue to use their Swiss ID cards until at least the 31st of December 2025.
Visas would not be required for Swiss citizens to enter the UK for short visits – i.e. for short business trips, study trips or tourism – however visas will be required “to work, study or join family in the UK and will also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge”.
The UK government has put the guidelines in place in order to “strengthen the security of our border”.
While the announcement may amount to a change for Swiss citizens and residents who were used to flying on their ID card only, the announcement is not a surprise.
In previously issued travel advice, UK authorities said they were considering stopping to accept ID cards from 2020 – although no concrete date was given.