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QUARANTINE

UPDATE: Which countries are currently on Switzerland’s quarantine list?

Due to changes in infection numbers, Swiss authorities is frequently updating its list of high-risk nations.

UPDATE: Which countries are currently on Switzerland's quarantine list?
Arrivals from high-risk areas must quarantine for 10 days. Photo by AFP.

Travellers from the following regions and countries will be required to quarantine for ten days after arriving in Switzerland. 

Please note that from June 28th, Switzerland is expected to replace the following system with a different one which allows entry from both inside and outside the Schengen area to vaccinated travellers and those who have recovered from the virus. 

This plan, which is outlined here, is currently under consultation but is expected to be approved and implemented from June 28th. A decision will be made on June 23rd. 

Under the rules in place since February 8th, people can leave quarantine after just seven days. More information is available at the following link. 

Seven days: How to leave quarantine early in Switzerland 

Regions of neighbouring countries on Switzerland’s quarantine list

From May 20th, the Austrian states of Salzburg and Upper Austria have been removed, meaning that no parts of Austria are now on the list. 

The French regions of Bretagne and region Nouvelle-Aquitaine have also been removed, while Italy’s Basilicata is no longer on the list. 

Other European nations which have been removed include Hungary, Poland and Serbia, while Qatar and the Palestinian Territories have also been taken off the list. 

On April 26th, India was added to the list with immediate effect due to the prevalence of a mutation of the virus there. 

The full list is included below. 

For countries that share a border with Switzerland, only regions have been placed on the list. For countries that do not share a border with Switzerland, the entire country has been put on the list. 

France

Center-Val de Loire region, Hauts-de-France region, Île-de-France region, Normandy region, Occitanie region, Pays de la Loire region and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

Italy

Apulia region and the Campania region.  

Germany

Thuringia and Saxony. 

Please click here for the official updated list. 

The countries on Switzerland’s quarantine list

The following countries are on the list as at May 20th: Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde Islands, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, India, Iran, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Seychelles, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey and Uruguay. 

Why are some countries banned, whereas in other cases regions are banned? 

Switzerland imposes the quarantine requirement only on certain areas or regions of bordering nations rather than on entire countries.

UPDATED: Who can enter Switzerland right now? 

The reason is “the close economic, social and cultural ties that exist with neighbouring countries. The incidence of infections is examined in individual areas rather than in the country as a whole”, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said. 

This is only for countries that share a border with Switzerland.

Quarantine is compulsory for people arriving from countries and regions where the incidence of infections exceeds Switzerland’s by more than 60, which is just over 360 cases per 100,000 inhabitants as at February 10th, 2021. 

More information is available here. 

What exactly does a quarantine entail?

You must announce your arrival to health authorities in your canton of residence within 48 hours.

You must then stay in your home or another suitable accommodation for 10 days, without going out or receiving guests.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s quarantine rules? 

Anyone who doesn’t comply could be fined up to 10,000 francs.

Also note that a negative Covid test doesn’t exempt you from having to quarantine – but it can help you leave quarantine after seven rather than ten days. 

However, some travellers are exempted from the requirement — for example those who are coming to Switzerland for an important work reason that can’t be cancelled or rescheduled, individuals travelling for an important medical reason that can’t be postponed, and transit passengers who have spent less than 24 hours in a country or area with an increased risk of infection.

As the epidemiological situation around the world is constantly changing, the list is updated every 14 days.

How has this changed over time?

On March 25th, along with the US and the UK, the countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Ireland, Qatar, Lithuania and St. Lucia have been removed.

In France, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region was removed on the 25th of March while in Italy, the Apulia region has been taken off the list.

Greece, Jamaica, Paraguay, Tanzania and the Ukraine were added on April 5th.

Several regions of neighbouring countries were added from March 22nd: Thuringia (Germany), Corsica (France), Basilicata, Lazio and Veneto (Italy), Burgenland, Upper Austria and Vienna (Austria).

Switzerland also decided that several countries would be added to the list effective March 22nd: Belgium, Palestine, Bulgaria, Jordan, Qatar, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Uruguay and Cyprus. 

Several regions of France and Italy, two states in Germany, along with Albania, Bahrain, Columbia, Serbia, Seychelles, St Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the UAE were added on February 10th. 

The state of Saxony (Sachsen), the Veneto region of Italy and the nation of Cyprus were removed on February 10th. 

Ten countries — Cyprus, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain — will also be placed on the quarantine list from February 1st.

Brazil was added to the list on January 21st, while Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Luxembourg and Serbia were removed from it.

Countries that were on the list before February 1st and remain on the list are: Andorra, Czech Republic, Ireland, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Panama, San Marino, Slovenia, Sweden, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. 

From March 25th, Switzerland has removed the United States and the United Kingdom from the list, along with Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Ireland, Qatar, Lithuania and St. Lucia.

In France, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region has been removed, while in Italy, the Apulia region has been taken off the list.

From April 5th, Greece, Jamaica, Paraguay, Tanzania and the Ukraine will be added to the list. More information is available here. 

As The Local Switzerland reported here, several countries and regions were also removed on April 19th. 

The French island of Corsica has been removed, along with the Italian regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Molise and Umbria.

Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Jamaica and Albania have been removed. 

A handful of new countries have been added as of May 3rd. This includes Mexico, Egypt, Qatar and the Cape Verde Islands. 

The Maldives was removed from May 3rd. 

From May 17th, a handful of new countries were added to the list

This includes Costa Rica, Georgia, Iran, Columbia, Latvia, Moldavia and Mongolia. 

The Basilicata region of Italy has also been added to the list. 

Several areas were removed on May 6th. 

The countries of Armenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia, San Marino, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine have been removed from the list.

The regions of Emilia Romagna, Friuli and Tuscany in Italy along with Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria and Vienna in Austria have also been removed. 

Note: This story has been updated to reflect changes in the Swiss government’s ‘high risk’ list. 

Member comments

  1. If you are fully vaccinated and provide a Covid free test on arrival in Zurich airport from Malta and you are NOT going to stay in Zurich but picking up a hired car to go to Colmar, France, do you still have to quarantine, please?

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TRAVEL NEWS

Reader question: Do flights to and from Switzerland require face masks?

Face masks to curb the spread of Covid have been largely phased out in Switzerland, although they are still required on some international flights. Here’s what you need to know.

Reader question: Do flights to and from Switzerland require face masks?

Just over two years after the pandemic, the requirement to wear a Covid mask disappeared in Switzerland, almost as quickly as it was put in place. 

Masks had been compulsory in indoor public spaces in Switzerland since October 29th, 2020 until February 17th of this year, when the mask requirement was lifted except for public transport and health establishments.

And from April 1st, masks don’t have to be worn in any publicly-accessible places.

Travel

As travellers would be aware, Switzerland’s relaxed attitude to masks and other Covid measures is not replicated everywhere, with masks required on trains and on planes heading outside of Switzerland despite the April 1st change. 

Rules were however further relaxed at a European level in May. 

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

READ MORE: Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

While Switzerland is not an EU member, it is surrounded by EU countries and frequently takes part in EU alliances. 

What is the current rule as at end of May, 2022? 

At present, while rules have been relaxed at a European level, countries are free to put them in place domestically where they see fit. 

In that case, the rules of the destination country must be followed on flights. 

As Switzerland does not require masks, Swiss-bound flights will not have a mask mandate in place. 

Flying outward from Switzerland however may be different, depending on the rules in place in your destination country. 

On May 24th, Swiss news outlet Blick reported that Swiss airlines had not been asking passengers to wear masks on flights to Germany, despite Germany having a mask mandate in place. 

The German Infection Protection Act requires masks on all flights that land in Germany and is in place until September 23rd. 

Flights to France do not require masks, although flights to common tourist destinations like Spain and Greece will have mask rules in place. 

Italy, another popular holiday destination, requires FFP2 masks to be worn until June 15th at the earliest. 

Individual airlines also often have rules for masks in place. While Ryan Air has dropped most mask rules (other than those put in place by national regulatory systems), Easy Jet still requires masks on most journeys. 

Occasionally, individual airports can also have certain rules in place, so be sure to prepare for all possibilities and contact your airline for greater clarity.  

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