Covid-19: What you need to know if you are travelling abroad from Switzerland

Covid-19: What you need to know if you are travelling abroad from Switzerland
Before taking off, familiarize yourself with travel restrictions. Photo by AFP
Restrictions in place in various countries continue to limit travel options from Switzerland. This is what you should know about current entry requirements for people arriving from Switzerland.

Whether you want to spend Christmas in your home country, or are planning holidays abroad, international travel is a challenging undertaking during a pandemic.

Before packing your bags, you should be aware not only of the epidemiological situation at your destination, but also of all the rules, including quarantine, testing requirements on arrival and what the rules are on family gatherings – in the UK only three households can meet over Christmas.

Here’s an overview of where residents of Switzerland can and cannot go, and under what conditions. 

Travel ban

United States and Canada are among the most popular destinations for expats and tourists alike, but North America remains pretty much off limits to residents of Switzerland.

The are exceptions for US and Canadian citizens and permanent residents, but some other travellers are also exempted from the travel ban. However arrivals in Canada will have to be prepared to quarantine for 14 days even if they have no symptoms.

These are the exemptions for USA and Canada.

Remember, too, that in order to return from both countries, you must have either a Swiss or European Union passport, a work permit, or another official proof of residency in Switzerland or the EU. If you don’t, you will not be allowed back into Switzerland, as tourists from the US and Canada are banned.

Travel is permitted

Most European countries, with the exception of Hungary, haven't tightened their restrictions on Swiss residents for weeks. 

But some are not as travel-friendly as others, as they require arrivals to either provide a negative Covid-19 test, or to quarantine upon arrival.

This is where a negative test result is required:

• Bosnia and Herzegovina. The test shouldn’t be older than 48 hours
• Greece (72 hours)
• Malta (72 hours)
• Russia (72 hours)
• Slovakia (72 hours)
• Spain (72 hours)

READ MORE: Could Swiss authorities prevent you from travelling if you refuse the coronavirus vaccine? 

Quarantine/test requirement on arrival:

  • Belgium (10-day quarantine)
  • Cyprus (14 days, plus test at the end of the quarantine)
  • Estonia (14 days)
  • Ireland (14 days)
  • Iceland (14 days)
  • Germany (10 days – can be reduced if test taken after 5 days. There are certain exemptions)
  • Latvia (14 days)
  • Lithuania (10 days or a negative test)
  • The Netherlands (10 days)
  • Norway (10 days)
  • Romania (14-day quarantine, can be ended on the 10th day if a test is negative on the 8th day)
  • Slovenia (14 days)
  • UK (14 days. From December 15th travellers can take a test after 5 days of quarantine. If negative quarantine ends.)
  • Ukraine (14-day quarantine or test upon entry and self-quarantine until a negative result)

Quarantine obligation on return

Before you venture abroad, keep in mind that Switzerland will require you to self-quarantine for 10 days when you return from these countries or regions: 


• Land Salzburg
• Land Upper Austria
Czech Republic

Additionally, there are two important things to remember.

Firstly, all of the above measures are in place right now, but could change at a moment’s notice, based on the worsening or improving health situation in a given region. That is why you should check requirements for your destination right before you travel.

Also, various countries require travellers to register online before arriving, even if no other measures apply.

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