QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (last update September 25 2020)
Visit this page for tips regarding trip planning, cancellation and more: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus.
1. Can I visit Switzerland now?
It depends on your country of residence whether you can enter Switzerland. The country in which you've been staying before heading for Switzerland is not taken into account, so even if you've been spending some time in a 'safe' country, you may still not be allowed to enter. The option of (partially) replacing quarantine with tests for incoming tourists is being debated, but no decisions have been made yet.
The situation changes often, so please make sure to the check the links we provide below for the current status. This is the situation from September 28:
- allowed to enter: residents of countries within the Schengen zone. However, residents from countries designated as 'high risk' areas have to go into a mandatory quarantine when entering Switzerland. The regions directly bordering Switzerland won't be put on this 'high risk' list for the time being, but several other European countries and areas are on the list. As for September 28, the quarantine rule applies to several regions of France, Austria and Italy, and to Belgium, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain (including the Canary Islands) and the UK;
- allowed to enter: residents of a number countries outside of the Schengen zone, including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South-Korea, Thailand;
- not allowed to enter: residents of all other countries.
The above list applies to entry into Switzerland. Please check with your local authorities if any other limitations apply, like a general ban on international travel, or quarantine on return.
Please find information about traveling to and in Switzerland, Schengen visas, tourist visas and planned border openings below:
2. What's the current coronavirus situation in Switzerland?
The exact rules differ per canton, but this is the overall situation:
- borders between Switzerland, Schengen countries and some more countries are mostly open for unrestricted (tourist) traveling. Exeptions may apply (see #1);
- many tourism-related companies and facilities are open. This goes for mountain transportation, train and boat rides (see #3), hotels, restaurants, museums, swimming pools, theaters, campings, etc;
- pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, train stations and petrol stations are open;
- in restaurants, bars and clubs, guests can be asked to identify themselves and/or leave their contact details for tracing reasons;
- in restaurants, bars and clubs, a maximum amount of guests can apply;
- in some cantons, face masks are required in shops and other public buildings like airports;
- sports in small groups are allowed;
- an app for tracing coronavirus cases and for warning is officially used. The 'SwissCovid' app can be downloaded for free and is available in 9 languages. Using it is not obligatory, but the government strongly recommends doing so;
- legally, the situation is no longer labeled as 'extraordinary' but as 'special'.
Please find details at https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/massnahmen-des-bundes.html.
Extra hygiene rules and social distancing apply everywhere until further notice, and institutions and services have to comply to strict measures.
3. What's the current public transportation situation in Switzerland?
In short, this is the situation per type of transportation:
- wearing face masks in public transportation is obligatory. Face masks are also required in all planes taking off and landing in Switzerland. Face masks can be bought in many shops, including the shops and kiosks at train stations. Many of the 'Selecta' snack vending machines offer face masks as well;
- the train schedule is largely back to normal. The timetable is up-to-date. It includes all modes of transport, including cable cars and mountain trains. Alternatively, links to timetables and the latest news of individual mountain transport/boats/et cetera can be found on our activity pages: www.myswissalps.com/activities;
- mountain transportation is operating and most boat rides are available;
- tourist trains have started operating. Please check timetables through the 'Route' tabs on each of our activity pages. Saver Day Passes and Supersaver tickets are available again. On-board catering and luggage services are offered too. Details for tourist trains:
These are the options for train trips to and from neighboring countries:
- France: a few trains between Paris and Basel and between Paris and Geneva run each day. The number of trains is expected to be expanded;
- Germany: trains between Basel and Germany and between Schaffhausen and Germany run as usual. EC trains and buses between Zurich and München are operating;
- Austria: trains between Switzerland and Vienna are available;
- Italy: Eurocity connections between Switzerland and Italy have gradually be resumed from June 29, starting off with a limited number of trains to and from Milan. Regional trains between Ticino and Italy are running again, although some timetable restrictions still apply.
Further details about traveling by public transportation:
- passengers should try to keep a distance of 1,5 metres. And as mentioned, wearing a face mask is required;
- travelers are asked to pay cashless as much as possible;
- transportation companies have intensified their cleaning routine;
- toilet and washing facilities at major railway stations can be used free of charge.
For more details, please see the links here: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning.
4. If I can visit Switzerland again, how should I plan my trip?
Please find our planning suggestions at www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning.
5. What can MySwissAlps.com do to help me?
This is how we help:
- we regularly update this thread and the information here: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus;
- we provide many tips for planning safe future trips: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus. Our website and moderators remain available to help you plan your holidays and to address your questions and concerns;
- if necessary, we’ll try to assist you with issues concerning bookings made through our partners.
We hope this crisis will soon be defeated and that we can all enjoy Switzerland again. Meanwhile, stay safe!
An old version of this thread is archived here: www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/coronavirus-switzerland-from-23-feb-to-25-apr-2020.