For members


What is the fine for not filling out Switzerland’s Covid arrival form?

There is one essential form all travellers to Switzerland must fill out, but many don’t. If caught, border guards will hand out fines.

A 100-franc fine could be imposed on those who don’t fill out the Personal Locator Form
Important paperwork: Switzerland-bound travellers must fill out the PLF form or risk getting fined. Photo by Zurich Airport

With constantly changing travel rules, it is difficult to keep up with all the regulations that need to be followed to enter Switzerland (and all the other countries, for that matter).

Since September 20th, everyone arriving in Switzerland, regardless of their country of origin, mode of transport, or vaccination status, must fill out the electronic Personal Location Form (PLF).

Once filled out and registered online, you will receive a QR code which you will have to show when entering Switzerland.

However, some people may be unaware of the requirement and enter the country without this form.

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

Checks are done randomly, so many travellers slip in without having filled this form. But if caught, you will have to pay a 100-franc fine.

So far, 200 people had to pay this fine, according to Tamedia media group.

The only people exempted from this rule are transit passengers, long-haul lorry drivers transporting goods across borders,  children under 16, cross-border workers, and residents of border areas.

The PLF requirement is an addition to other travel regulations the Federal Council implemented in September:

Two tests to enter Switzerland are now required for the unvaccinated and unrecovered.

Unvaccinated arrivals and those who have not contracted and recovered from the virus in the past six months must show two negative tests. 

The first proof should be presented when arriving in Switzerland.  Then, four to seven days later, travellers will have to undergo another test, which they must pay for themselves.

Both PCR and antigen results are accepted.

These rules only apply to arrivals from nations not on the Switzerland’s high-risk list. As the United States and United Kingdom are considered high risk, only vaccinated people from those countries can arrive in Switzerland.

This article contains more information on the rules which apply. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s new travel and Covid certificate rules?

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For members


Travel: What documents do Americans need to visit Switzerland?

People from the United States have been allowed to visit Switzerland since June 28th. What travel documents do they need to be allowed entry into the country?

Travel: What documents do Americans need to visit Switzerland?
The Yanks are coming: make sure you have the necessary documents. Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP

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

In most cases, a valid passport was sufficient.

However, things are much more complicated now.

At the moment, travellers from the US must follow these entry rules. 

They must have a QR code

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 US tourists can come to Switzerland and remain here without further requirements

You must be inoculated with one of the vaccines approved by the European Union, which currently are Moderna, Pfizer / Biontech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

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.

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.

In addition, people can enter from non-Schengen zone countries, provided they have recovered from the virus in the past six months. 

To prove it, you need either a medical certificate which shows you have had the virus – or a confirmation of a positive test. This must be within the last six months but more than ten days ago. 

What about those not vaccinated or recovered?

If the person is not vaccinated, or only partially vaccinated, they would have to present a negative Covid test, either PCR or antigen, taken within 48 hours before arrival in Switzerland.

If no test can be shown, then the person will have to quarantine for 10 or seven days, which pretty much defeats the purpose of  a vacation.

These rules apply not only to US passport holders but to any resident of the United States, regardless of nationality.

What about the health pass / Covid certificate?

To date, the United States, unlike Europe, has not issued such a document, though there is an ongoing debate on this subject.

However, vaccination or recovery certificate, as mentioned above, is sufficient for entry to Switzerland.

What about American 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