connect, grow & thrive.

Travelling To and From Switzerland – new rules from September 20. 2021

The federal council has decided to change the rules for travelers coming or returning to Switzerland in order to avoid another explosion of cases after the autumn holidays.

As of Monday September 20 the following applies:

All travelers coming or returning to Switzerland will need to fill out a digital entry form. Regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, which country they come from or how they enter the country. Whether it is by plane, car, train, bike or even on foot you will need to show this form. Failure to do so could cost you CHF 100.-

If you do not have a valid certificate proving that you have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19, you will have to provide a negative test (antigen or PCR) upon entering the country. You will also need to have a second test done between 4 to 7 days after your arrival in the country and send the results to the right cantonal authority. It will be up to each canton to enforce this second test takes place. Failure to do so could cost you CHF 200.-

The test and entry form requirements do not apply to children under the age of 16, travellers in transit through Switzerland without stopping, drivers who transport people or goods professionally, and cross-border commuters or people entering from border areas.

Getting a Swiss certificate for people vaccinated or recovered abroad

As of 20 September, anyone who has been vaccinated abroad with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and who is resident in or travelling to Switzerland will be able to obtain a Swiss COVID certificate. This means that people who have been vaccinated abroad or have recovered abroad, such as tourists, can also participate in social activities here. Currently, only the certificates of countries using the EU Digital COVID Certificate are compatible with the Swiss system.

As it will take time for each canton to set up a contact point dealing with this issue, until October 10. all foreign vaccination certificates (e.g. WHO vaccination certificate) will be valid for access to events or facilities requiring a COVID certificate, so long as the vaccine is one recognised by the EU.

High-risk countries

Switzerland has reinstated their high risk country list. The list below shows the countries considering NON high risk and for which the above rules apply.

Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.

EU and smaller European countries and third countries and regions:
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Macao, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, Vatican / Holy See.

All other countries are still considered high risk and are on the list of high-risk countries and regions in the COVID-19 Ordinance 3. Entry restrictions continue to apply to persons entering Switzerland from these countries. In order to find out what this restrictions are you can use this travelcheck tool.

Traveling from Switzerland

For those wishing to travel to other countries we recommend the Reopen EU website to see what the rules are for EU countries.

The United Kingdom are changing their rules as of October 4. People coming from a country not on the red list and who are doubly vaccinated will not need to present a PCR test upon arrival nor quarantine but will need to take a test at day 2 of their trip. More details here.

Information taken from the bag admin website

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.