Switzerland to remove United States and United Kingdom from quarantine list

Switzerland on Wednesday decided to remove the US and Great Britain from its mandatory quarantine list, effective immediately.

Switzerland to remove United States and United Kingdom from quarantine list
Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The decision is a consequence of falling infection rates as a result of both countries’ strong vaccine rollout. 

Countries are placed on the list as a result of high coronavirus infection rates. 

EXPLAINED: Can people from America and the UK come to Switzerland?

Swiss media reports that 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 has been removed, while in Italy, the Apulia region has been taken off the list. 

These removals come into effect from March 25th. 

Several countries have however been placed on the list, including a number of prominent holiday destinations. 

These are Greece, Jamaica, Paraguay, Tanzania and the Ukraine.

These additions will not come into effect until April 5th. 

For a full list and an explanation, please click the following link. 

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

The official list is available here. 

US and UK making progress in the coronavirus battle

In the latest update of its “red list” of countries and regions from which incoming travellers need to quarantine, the Swiss health ministry said travellers from the United States, the world’s worst-affected country in the pandemic, and from Britain, which is the fifth hardest-hit, will no longer need to quarantine from April 5.

Both countries have made great strides with vaccinations, and have seen new infection levels drop low enough to no longer trigger the requirement.

Switzerland puts countries and regions on its “red list” for quarantining once Covid-19 infection rates remain significantly higher than Switzerland’s own infection rate per for a period of 14 days.

On Wednesday, the Swiss rate stood at 523 new infections per 100,000 people. The country of 8.6 million people has to date counted nearly 585,500 cases of Covid-19, and close to 9,500 deaths.

Swiss authorities also said Wednesday they were planning to roll out by summer a certificate for residents who have been vaccinated against the new coronavirus.

‘Green pass’: Everything you need to know about the coronavirus immunity card in Switzerland

Note: This story previously stated that the countries would be removed from April 5th. However, the removal of the countries came with immediate effect, i.e. from March 25th. The additions to the list will apply from April 5th. 

Member comments

  1. Great that people from the USA and the UK will be able to visit Switzerland again. Hopefully they won’t want to go to a Cafe, Restaurant or Bar. This is all a bit bizarre that people from these countries can visit Switzerland when the vast majority of the Swiss population still remains to be vaccinated.

  2. I think this action falls into the class of adding insult to injury or maybe rubbing salt in the wound for residents of Switzerland.

  3. Some of this came into force today – from BAG

    No longer on the list since 25.3.2021: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, France: Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Italy: Regione Puglia, Ireland, Lithuania, Qatar, Saint Lucia, United Kingdom, United States of America.

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What is the fine for not filling out Switzerland’s Covid arrival form?

There is one essential form all travellers to Switzerland must fill out, but many don’t. If caught, border guards will hand out fines.

A 100-franc fine could be imposed on those who don’t fill out the Personal Locator Form
Important paperwork: Switzerland-bound travellers must fill out the PLF form or risk getting fined. Photo by Zurich Airport

With constantly changing travel rules, it is difficult to keep up with all the regulations that need to be followed to enter Switzerland (and all the other countries, for that matter).

Since September 20th, everyone arriving in Switzerland, regardless of their country of origin, mode of transport, or vaccination status, must fill out the electronic Personal Location Form (PLF).

Once filled out and registered online, you will receive a QR code which you will have to show when entering Switzerland.

However, some people may be unaware of the requirement and enter the country without this form.

READ MORE: Here is the form you need to enter Switzerland

Checks are done randomly, so many travellers slip in without having filled this form. But if caught, you will have to pay a 100-franc fine.

So far, 200 people had to pay this fine, according to Tamedia media group.

The only people exempted from this rule are transit passengers, long-haul lorry drivers transporting goods across borders,  children under 16, cross-border workers, and residents of border areas.

The PLF requirement is an addition to other travel regulations the Federal Council implemented in September:

Two tests to enter Switzerland are now required for the unvaccinated and unrecovered.

Unvaccinated arrivals and those who have not contracted and recovered from the virus in the past six months must show two negative tests. 

The first proof should be presented when arriving in Switzerland.  Then, four to seven days later, travellers will have to undergo another test, which they must pay for themselves.

Both PCR and antigen results are accepted.

These rules only apply to arrivals from nations not on the Switzerland’s high-risk list. As the United States and United Kingdom are considered high risk, only vaccinated people from those countries can arrive in Switzerland.

This article contains more information on the rules which apply. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s new travel and Covid certificate rules?