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READER QUESTION: What are the rules for children and minors entering Switzerland?

Do children need to be tested and vaccinated to enter Switzerland? Here’s what you need to know.

READER QUESTION: What are the rules for children and minors entering Switzerland?
Can children enter Switzerland? What are the rules? Photo: INA FASSBENDER / AFP

From June 2021, Switzerland has relaxed its entry rules, allowing people from all over Europe and further afield to enter again – in some cases for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Now, people who have been vaccinated in the past 12 months or who have recovered from the virus in the past six months will be allowed to enter. 

UPDATED: Who can travel to Switzerland right now?

However, one major question we have received from our readers has been the rules related to children, especially given that in some countries children cannot be vaccinated. 

Are children allowed to enter Switzerland? 

Put simply, whether children are able to enter or not will depend on the adult they are travelling with. 

Children under the age of 18 are allowed to travel to Switzerland, even if they have not been vaccinated and have not contracted the virus and recovered recently, provided they are travelling with an adult who complies with the entry rules.

In certain limited circumstances – such as where someone is entering from a variant of concern area but has not been vaccinated – the person arriving will need to be tested and quarantine. 

If the adult needs to be tested, the child will also need to be tested only if he or she is aged 16 or 17. Children aged under 16 do not need to be tested.  

Anyone wanting to enter Switzerland can use this official Swiss government tool to work out if they can – and what rules they must comply with. 

‘Travelcheck’: This tool shows you what you need to enter Switzerland

More information is available at the following official government page. 

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Switzerland proposes travellers pay for Covid boosters

Under a new plan put forth by the Swiss government, anyone who needs a booster shot for travel abroad should pay for it out of pocket.

Switzerland proposes travellers pay for Covid boosters

While Covid shots were previously free for everyone in Switzerland, with the Swiss government picking up the tab, the country has been reluctant to issue a recommendation for a second booster.

As The Local reported on Monday, this means that many people’s most recent shot will soon be more than nine months ago, which is the date at which many Covid passes expire. 

READ MORE: What will Switzerland do about the ‘millions’ of expiring Covid certificates?

Although evidence of vaccination is not required domestically in Switzerland any more, it may pose issues in travel. 

Since many countries still require a vaccination certificate for entry, and as the second round of boosters is not yet available in Switzerland, this means that a large number of people may not be able to travel abroad.

Swiss health authorities: Travellers should pay for Covid boosters themselves

According to newest recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), people travelling abroad who need second booster doses must pay for the shots themselves.

As the fourth vaccine dose is currently recommended only for people with a severely weakened immune system, everyone outside of this group will be charged as yet undefined fee.

The proposal was sent to the cantons for consultation until June 1st.

If agreed on, the Federal Council will adjust the Epidemics Ordinance accordingly on June 10th.