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EXPLAINED: What are the current rules for entering Switzerland?

What are the rules for entering Switzerland this Christmas? Photo by Jairph on Unsplash
What are the rules for entering Switzerland this Christmas? Photo by Jairph on Unsplash
From testing to quarantines and all-out bans, here are the latest rules for entering Switzerland.

From Monday, December 20th, Switzerland again changed its entry rules, both for people who live in Switzerland and those visiting from abroad. 

While the travel quarantine requirement has largely been removed for people entering the country, comprehensive testing rules now apply. 

There are also restrictions based on which country you are entering from and whether or not you have been vaccinated. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

What are the new testing rules? 

From December 20th, the entry rules will be relaxed, whereby people only need to show one test on entry (either PCR or antigen).

The PCR test can be up to 72 hours old, the antigen test must be less than 24 hours old.

Formerly this was just a PCR test. 

The requirement of completing another test from days four to seven after arriving has been dropped for people who are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from the virus. 

Unvaccinated or non-recovered people will need to complete either a PCR or an antigen test and send the result to the canton from day four to day seven. 

Who does the testing rule apply to? 

The testing rule applies to people who live in Switzerland or people who are visiting. It applies regardless of citizenship or residency status. 

There are however some exceptions, for example people under 16, transit passengers and people who are arriving from border regions in neighbouring states. 

For more information on the exceptions, please check out the following link. 

READ MORE: What are Switzerland’s new testing requirements for entry?

What about quarantines? 

There are currently no travel-related quarantines imposed in Switzerland.

Where quarantines and isolation orders do exist, this will be for contact cases with people who have the virus or who have a variant of the virus. 

Omicron in Switzerland: Vaccinated people also have to quarantine

Who is allowed to enter? 

Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) has compiled a high-risk list and a list of virus variant countries. 

Anyone arriving from a country on the high-risk list will need to be fully vaccinated. 

As at December 20th, the high-risk list includes several large countries including India, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Entry from virus variant countries is not allowed for anyone other than a Swiss citizen or resident, regardless of vaccination status. 

For a comprehensive summary of the rules for the high-risk list, including which countries are currently on the list, check out the following link. 

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

How do I know whether I can enter Switzerland? 

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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