Switzerland-United States travel: The crucial document you might not know about
If you are planning to fly to the US from one of the Swiss airports, there are some entry regulations you need to know about.
Generally speaking, travel to the United States from Switzerland, Europe, and much of the world has been restricted since March 2020.
However, a number of people still fly to the United States, as they fall under the ‘exemptions’ category which includes American citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the United States, children or spouses of US citizens or LPRs, as well as foreign government officials and their immediate family members on official business.
At the moment, everyone travelling to the United States must present —aside from the US passport or another document proving eligibility to enter the country — a negative PCR or antigen Covid test. That’s pretty standard for a lot of countries.
But there is one other document you need that you may not know about.
Called ‘PASSENGER DISCLOSURE AND ATTESTATION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, this document must be printed and signed, as without it you will not be allowed to board.
Basically, this form requires airlines to “confirm either a negative COVID-19 test result or recovery from COVID-19 and clearance to travel and collect a passenger attestation on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”.
The problem is that this particular form, though essential, is easy to miss.
It is ‘buried’ among other travel-related information airlines send to passengers as part of an email that comprises booking details, baggage allowance, mask requirement, and time zone and weather at the destination.
Only the most attentive passenger will notice a link called “Stricter regulations on entering the USA”, which compiles various rules, including the form.
The Local asked SWISS airline why the necessity to fill out this form is not made clearer to US-bound passengers.
“In principle, it is the passenger’s responsibility to inform themselves about the entry requirements of their final destination”, said spokesperson Michael Stief.
He added that “SWISS provides its passengers with detailed information on its homepage and also informs them individually about the formalities before departure”.
The entry regulations are indeed included on the airline’s site, as well as on the site of its codeshare partner, Lufthansa, which operates some of the US-bound flights together with SWISS.
However, a passenger has to actively search for this information amid diverse links on the airlines’ websites.
Many miss it and only find out about it when checking in at the airport.