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Can I travel to Switzerland if I’ve been vaccinated?

Both in Switzerland and abroad, vaccinations are picking up speed. Can vaccinated travellers visit Switzerland?

Can I travel to Switzerland if I've been vaccinated?
Vaccines in the background next to a paper-based vaccine booklet. Photo: Christof STACHE / AFP

Say you only had the first dose of the vaccine so far, with your second one scheduled only in four weeks, or if you have not had the shot at all.

Can you travel to Switzerland?

The simple answer is yes — but you must fulfil certain conditions.

For Swiss health authorities, “fully vaccinated” means both doses of Pfizer / Biontech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines. The only exception to the two-dose requirement is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is given in a single shot.

You must be able to prove your vaccination status with a EU-recognised Covid Certificate. If you don’t have one, or if you come from a country that is not issuing these health passes, then you should have an official proof of vaccination, which includes your name, date of birth, the name of the vaccine, batch numbers, and dates of first and second vaccination.

READ MORE: EU agrees to recognise Switzerland’s vaccination certificate

You are considered to be immune for up to 12 months after receiving your second shot.

Provided you can present this document and you travel at least 14 days after your second dose (or one dose, in case of Johnson & Johnson) — which is when immunity to coronavirus is believed to fully kick in — you can come to Switzerland with no restrictions.

What if you don’t meet these criteria?

If you only had one dose of the two-dose vaccine, or 14 days haven’t elapsed since the second shot, or if your vaccine is not one of the four mentioned above, or if you haven’t been inoculated at all, then you must fulfil other conditions.

In case you don’t come from one of the “high-variant” countries — currently India, Nepal and the UK — you must have a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of arriving in Switzerland.

If you do come from one of the three countries mentioned above, then you must also quarantine for 10 or seven days, which pretty much defeats the purpose of a vacation.

Does this mean full vaccination is the only way to enter Switzerland with no restrictions?

If you recovered from Covid within the past six months — and can prove it with official documents — you can come to Switzerland without any obligation to test or quarantine.

The same rules — that is, either the vaccination / immunity certificate, or negative test / quarantine — apply, even if the traveller arrives from a high-variant area like the UK, India or Nepal.

These are the rules and regulations right now, but they may change if the epidemiological situation in Switzerland and / or other countries worsens.

READ MORE: Who can travel to Switzerland right now?
READ MORE: What documents do tourists need to visit Switzerland?

Member comments

  1. Be careful with covid19 then! To share something very good, I watch this youtube channel myself: A Voice In The Desert And recommend to anyone wanting to learn more truth.

    Please get both doses of a vaccine and use a mask at least till everyone has both doses, to prevent covid-19 deaths, damage and hospitalizations.

  2. Bloomberg is reporting that Switzerland will begin accepting vaccinated American tourists starting June 28th – is that accurate?

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DISCOVER SWITZERLAND

IN PICTURES: Swiss push for destruction of ‘eyesore’ abandoned ski resorts

In a remote, secluded valley in the Swiss Alps, a line of rusty ski lift masts scar the grassy hillside where cows lazily graze.

IN PICTURES: Swiss push for destruction of ‘eyesore’ abandoned ski resorts

The lifts at the once bustling Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland’s southern Wallis canton, near the Italian border, stopped running in 2010.

The Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland's southern Wallis canton, near the Italian border, has been abandoned since 2010. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland’s southern Wallis canton, near the Italian border, has been abandoned since 2010. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Since the local company that ran the small station folded, the infrastructure and facilities have been left as a disintegrating blemish on the Alpine landscape.

“Frankly, I would like to see them destroy it, raze it,” former resort director Claude Lattion acknowledged to AFP.

“You arrive from Italy over the Great Saint Bernard Pass and see this,” he said, nodding towards the graffiti-covered ruins and piles of broken glass that once housed the restaurant and ski lift departure station.

With its spectacular mountain landscapes and pristine slopes, Switzerland draws winter sports fans and tourists from around the world.

Former resort director Claude Lattion poses in the ruins of the departure gondola lift station of Super Saint-Bernard ski resort. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Former resort director Claude Lattion poses in the ruins of the departure gondola lift station of Super Saint-Bernard ski resort. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

But in recent years, shortages of snow and especially of money have seen many of its smaller, local stations struggle to keep their ski lifts running.

At least 14 out of 2,433 are currently out of order, according to the Federal Office of Transport. 

Snow business: How to find a job in winter sports in Switzerland

‘Eyesore’ 

Swiss law requires resort owners to pay for the cost of dismantling abandoned ski lifts.

But the situation is more complicated when resorts file for bankruptcy, as Super Saint Bernard has done.

Discussions about whether a buyer can be found, or if regional or local authorities should foot the bill, can drag on for years.

In the small neighbouring village of Bourg-Saint-Pierre, mayor Gilbert Tornare said several solutions have been examined “to get rid of this eyesore”.

But the cost is too steep for the community of just 200 people, he said.

The lifts at the Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland haven't run since 2010. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The lifts at the Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland haven’t run since 2010. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

In all, up to two million Swiss francs ($2.1 million) will be needed to dismantle the station, removing the ski lift masts and decontaminating a site that stretches up to an altitude of 2,800 metres (9,200 feet).

Wallis canton, meanwhile, has suggested using army conscripts for the job to limit the cost.

The case illustrates the chronic difficulties facing smaller ski stations across Switzerland.

For resorts with fewer than 100,000 skiers a year, it is “difficult to turn a profit”, Swiss tourism expert Laurent Vanat told AFP.

Super Saint Bernard, which only had around 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of slopes and was hampered by its remote location, far from the nearest village, was drawing only about 20,000 skiers per season before it closed.

The Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland's southern Wallis canton, near the Italian border, has been abandoned since 2010. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The abandoned Super Saint Bernard ski resort in Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

New use?

While the high-altitude station typically sees plenty of snow, other small resorts are being hit by the impact of climate change, which has left the white gold in short supply.

Watching his two dogs sniff around the wreckage of the business he once ran, Lattion said he would have liked to see Super Saint Bernard “put to new use”.

One young local entrepreneur wants to do just that and has proposed creating a hotel reachable by a small cable car.

Two unprepared slopes could be used in winter, while plenty of paths are available for summer hikes, offering a softer approach to mountain tourism than the one driven by the large resorts.

But their plan has been stalled for five years, with a controversial wind farm plan blocking all public financing for new ski projects in the area.

Rebuilding a ski station, Lattion acknowledged, “is not really in the spirit of the times”.

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