So who is allowed to enter Switzerland and under what circumstances? That all depends on where you are arriving from.
Whether you will – and whether you will need to quarantine – will depend largely on infection rates.
Arrivals from countries considered to be ‘high risk’ inside the Schengen and EFTA zones will be required to quarantine, but will be allowed to enter.
Arrivals from high-risk countries outside these areas – known as ‘third countries’ – are currently restricted from entry, unless they have Swiss citizenship or residency.
The list is updated regularly and can be found at the following link.
Here’s what you need to know.
Arrivals from European – i.e. ‘Schengen or EFTA’ – countries
As it stands, arrivals from all Schengen, EU and EFTA states will be allowed to enter – but may be subject to a quarantine if infection rates are above the above-mentioned threshold.
For more information, read the following guide.
A barrier is removed on the Swiss-French border. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
What about non-European countries?
Those from outside Europe – known as ‘third countries’ – are restricted from entering.
This means that anyone without European citizen/resident status will not be permitted to enter, with some limited exceptions.
There is a limited list of countries for which entry is not restricted. As at February 2021, these exceptions are: Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore and Thailand.
Are there any exceptions?
The family members of EU/EFTA citizens or residents will be allowed to enter, regardless of their nationality status.
There are some exceptions for work travellers, although this travel must be essential – i.e. it needs to take place in person – and special approval must be granted.
Anyone needing this approval must contact Swiss authorities at [email protected]
As of August 3rd, members unmarried couples can enter if one lives in Switzerland and the other abroad – provided they can prove the relationship to authorities.
Do I have to quarantine?
Quarantine requirements will apply from certain high-risk areas from July 6th onwards. The list of countries is regularly updated by Swiss health authorities.
Affected people will be informed on planes, coaches and at the borders, and must register with the local authorities once in Switzerland.
How has this changed over time?
On July 6th, Switzerland put in place quarantine requirements for arrivals from so-called ‘high-risk’ countries.
Swiss authorities announced on October 29th new measures to rein in skyrocketing coronavirus cases in the country, and acknowledged that it no longer made sense for most travellers to the country to quarantine.
But while introducing stricter rules for mask-wearing and crowd sizes, the government also said it would lift the requirement for people arriving from a long line of countries to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Switzerland or risk a $10,000-fine.
Switzerland has until now put countries and regions on its “red list” for quarantining once Covid-19 infection rates there passed more than 60 per 100,000 people for a period of 14 days.
But in recent weeks, the country itself has seen its own infection rate gallop past that mark and has over 760 cases for 100,000 people for the past two weeks.
How are countries deemed high risk from October 29th?
Only countries or regions whose rate per 100,000 inhabitants exceeds by 60 that recorded in Switzerland would be placed on the red list.
When the announcement was made, only Belgium, the Czech Republic, Andorra and Armenia – along with three regions of France, including Paris – are considered high risk.
In France, the Hauts-de-France and ÎIe de France / Paris regions as well as the overseas territory of French Polynesia are considered to be risk zones.
The government indicated that this list will be regularly updated on the basis of infection rates in Switzerland and abroad.
The relevant countries can be seen updated at the following link.
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.