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Which countries are on Switzerland’s high-risk list?

A Swiss airlines plane on the tarmac at Zurich Airport.
What are the current entry rules for Switzerland for people from 'high risk' countries. Photo: ENNIO LEANZA / POOL / AFP
Switzerland expanded its high-risk list as of Monday, thereby restricting travel for people in certain categories. Here's what you need to know about the list.

As of Monday, December 20th, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) will further restrict entry to people from the country of Jordan. 

Other countries recently added to the list include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Japan and Serbia.

Some of the other countries on the SEM list include India, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

UPDATE: Switzerland confirms only vaccinated Americans and Brits can enter

The full list can be seen here

The list also includes several countries where an “immuno-evasive virus variant is spreading that is not yet prevalent in Switzerland”. 

These countries are predominantly from Southern Africa: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

What does it mean to be on this list?

Please bear with us, as the situation is relatively complicated and a little difficult to explain. 

Basically, entering from countries considered high-risk will be restricted to those who are vaccinated against Covid-19 with a recognised vaccine. 

Swiss citizens and residents will not be restricted from entering. 

The vaccines accepted for entry into Switzerland are laid out in the following article. 

UPDATE: Which vaccines are accepted for entry into Switzerland?

The rules for the list of immuno-evasive countries are a little tighter. 

Arriving from these countries will be restricted only to Swiss residents and Swiss citizens regardless of vaccination status. 

There are also a range of other exceptions, which are listed here, but tourist travel is largely prevented

How does the list work?

In effect, Switzerland deems every country a ‘high-risk’ country, other than those in the Schengen region and a handful of countries across the globe which are considered lower risk. 

The non-EU/Schengen countries which are not deemed high risk include Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and several others. 

The SEM decide when a country is deemed high risk.

Usually, this will be followed by an announcement (usually via media release and social media) that the country is now on the list. 

As a recognition that the rules are complicated, the Swiss government has set up an interactive tool called ‘Travelcheck’.

This allows you to put in your personalised information, including where you are entering from, your residency and citizenship status and your vaccination status. 

You will then get an automate personalised response with information as to your entry situation. 

Travel: What are Switzerland’s new entry requirements?


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