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Travel: What documents do tourists need to visit Switzerland?

Tourists are now allowed to visit Switzerland again. What travel documents do they need to be allowed entry into the country?

Travel: What documents do tourists need to visit Switzerland?
What documents do you need to enter Switzerland? Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

This report was last updated on November 9th. 

Before the pandemic struck and travel restrictions were implemented, it was easy for tourists to enter Switzerland.

In most cases, a valid passport was sufficient.

Now, more documents – including proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus or a negative test – are often required. 

In late June, Switzerland changed its entry rules. Previously those from inside the Schengen zone and outside were treated differently.

From June 26th onwards, Switzerland introduced the ‘variant of concern’ classification for countries where mutations of the virus were spreading. The current list of variant of concern countries includes India, the United Kingdom and Nepal. 

This is laid out below. 

Entry from the Schengen zone and EFTA countries

People arriving from Schengen and EU countries or from the small European states like Andorra, the Vatican, Monaco and San Marino will need to either be vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid or have a negative test in order to enter. 

In addition, you will also need to fill out the entry form

The date of full vaccination must be in the past 12 months. For those recovered from the virus, you must have had the virus in the previous six months (and received a confirmation, i.e. a positive test). 

If you have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, you will need to present a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or a negative rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours) before boarding your flight to Switzerland. 

What about outside the EU/Schengen/EFTA zone?

On June 26th, Switzerland’s rules were relaxed to allow entry from outside the bloc. 

This means that people can enter from non-Schengen zone countries, provided they have been vaccinated in the past 12 months or have recovered from the virus in the past six months. 

This includes the United States, the United Kingdom and other non-Schengen countries which are not on the ‘variant of concern’ list. 

Entry from outside the bloc is not permitted for people who have neither been vaccinated or recovered from the virus. 

More information is at the following link. 

UPDATE: Switzerland confirms only vaccinated Americans and Brits can enter

What documents are needed? 

Before boarding the plane, an electronic entry form must be filled out. Once you complete it online and send it back, you will receive a personalised QR code as proof of registration.

You will be asked to show this code at the airport check-in, at all transit airports, and at arrival in Switzerland.

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

Only vaccinated and recovered tourists from outside the Schengen zone can come to Switzerland and remain here without further requirements. 

You must be inoculated with your second dose at least two weeks previously with one of the vaccines approved by the European Union, Swissmedic and WHO, which currently are Moderna, Pfizer / Biontech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, along with the two Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac. 

Also, you must have proof showing you have been fully vaccinated — an official document issued by a recognised health authority.

It can be either in digital or in paper form, must have your full name and date of birth, dates when both doses were administered (or a single dose in case of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine), as well as the name and batch number of the vaccine.

This does not need to be the internationally known yellow vaccine booklet or a QR code, although if the documentation is in a form that people recognise, it’s likely to go a little more smoothly. 

One thing to keep in mind is that travel should take place at least 14 days after the final dose, which is when immunity to coronavirus is believed to fully kick in.

What about tourists who arrive to Switzerland after holidaying in other European countries?

It doesn’t matter whether a person transits through or stays in another country before arriving in Switzerland.

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

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

UPDATE: Switzerland confirms vaccinated Americans and Brits can enter from June 26th

Member comments

  1. Interesting thank you. As I understand the situation at the moment it is easier for somebody travelling from the US than it is from Britain, even when transiting other countries. I’m trying to find out the requirements to and from England via France (driving in a car) starting out of Switzerland when all parties involved are double vaccinated. It seems that various forms and above all recent Covid tests are required in both directions at the UK/French borders (Channel Tunnel). I was reading up on this yesterday (06/07/2021) – does anybody know if this is this still the situation or has it / will it change soon? Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi there, what about kids ? I know kids under 16 are exempt from testing when returning to Switzerland, but what about quarantine ? My 13 & 14 yo have only had vaccination and my 7yo nothing of course…are they exempt from the quarantine ? Thanks.

  3. This appears to be missing the rule effective September 13, 2021 that you must have a Covid Pass. The pass is 30 francs to obtain for foreigners but must obtained as proof of vaccination.

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TRAVEL NEWS

10 francs: Everything you need to know about Flixtrain’s Basel to Berlin line

In early May, German transport provider Flixtrain announced it would begin running services from Basel to Berlin (and back) from June. Here’s what you need to know.

10 francs: Everything you need to know about Flixtrain's Basel to Berlin line

German transport provider Flixtrain has announced it will launch in Switzerland from June 23rd. The low-cost provider is offering 10 franc (10 euro) tickets from Basel to Berlin, among other cheap fares.

The low-cost company, which has been establishing itself Deutsche Bahn’s major competitor Germany over the past few years, runs long distance bus and train services. 

When will the services run?

The lines to and from Basel run from Thursday to Monday, with one connection per day in either direction. 

It will take 8 hours and 45 minutes from Basel Badischer Bahnhof to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. 

A trip with the German ICE will instead take just over 7 hours. 

The new line is part of an expansion of services which is set to include around 70 destinations in Germany. 

OK but will it really cost CHF10?

The price of the ticket grabbed headlines, with Flixtrain saying in its press conference that the almost-nine-hour trip would only cost CHF10 (10 euro). 

Flixtrain spokesperson Sebastian Meyer told Swiss news outlet Watson that tickets would start at CHF10, but more expensive tickets would be available when the CHF10 offerings were sold out. 

“If the cheapest ticket contingent is sold out, the next higher one takes effect. In this way, we can always offer our passengers cheap tickets. Affordable prices are still possible due to the corresponding utilisation of the individual trips.”

In order to get the cheapest possible fare, travellers are advised to book early. 

REVEALED: How to find cheap train tickets in Switzerland

Tickets between Basel and Berlin can cost as high as CHF150 or 160 euros from Switzerland’s SBB or Germany’s Deutsche Bahn respectively, although booking in advance can bring the price down to as low as CHF30. 

Where will the train to (and from) Berlin stop?

In either direction, the train will stop at: Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Offenburg, Freiburg, Wiesloch, Bad Hersfeld and Weil am Rhein. 

What else is different about Flixtrain?

Other than being bright lime green, Flixtrains allow you to take your bicycle with you, which is not allowed on most ICE long-distance trains in Germany. 

Are there any other destinations within Switzerland? 

As yet, Basel will be the only Swiss destination. The other two new routes are Stuttgart to Hamburg and Berlin to Weisbaden. 

In addition to the 10 franc (10 euro) ticket from Basel to Berlin, other journeys within Germany will start at 5 francs (5 euros). 

More information is available from Flixtrain at the following link. 

The expanded routes can be seen in the following image. 

A look at Flixtrain’s route network in 2022. Map: Flixtrain

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