Reader question: What documents do I need to enter Switzerland?

Reader question: What documents do I need to enter Switzerland?
There are rules travellers to Switzerland should know about. Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP
Keeping up with the often-changing travel requirements can be a daunting task. This is what you should know about arriving in Switzerland from a foreign country right now.

Assuming you are authorised to enter Switzerland — that is, you are a Swiss citizen, a permanent resident, or a national of a Schengen state —  you will need two documents to get into Switzerland.

One is an electronic entry form that must be filled out before boarding the plane. Once you complete and send the form, you will receive a QR code as proof of registration.

You are exempted from registering if you come from a region that borders Switzerland — for instance, if you are a cross-border worker.

The requirement is also waved if you transport passengers or goods across the border as part of your job, such as a lorry or bus driver. And if you are transiting through Switzerland while travelling directly to another country, you don’t have to complete the form either.

The second document is a negative Covid-19 test that is no more than 72 hours old. Ideally, this should be a PCR test, as it is considered to be more accurate. But you should be able to board the plane with the antigen test results no older than 24 hours. 

However, you may be asked to get a PCR test at your own expense once you enter Switzerland. As results are needed immediately, both antigen and PCR tests will be done.

READ MORE: Are antigen tests sufficient for entry into Switzerland?

The screening can be done at all three international airports: Zurich, Geneva, and Basel.

Here too, some exceptions apply. In addition to cross-border commuters, lorry and bus drivers, as well as transit passengers, people travelling to Switzerland for an imperative medical or business reason are also exempted from the testing requirement.

Depending on the country or region from which you arrive, you may have to go into a 10-day quarantine. Right now all the areas that are subject to the quarantine requirement are listed here.

You can reduce your quarantine if you have a negative test results after seven days.

Again, all these rules are intended only for people who are authorised to enter Switzerland.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Can people from the United States and Great Britain come to Switzerland?

Please note that this information is valid on the day of publication. Rules may change at any time.


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