Home  ▶  Get in touch  ▶  Forum  ▶  How does the coronavirus affect Switzerland trips?

How does the coronavirus affect Switzerland trips?

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 95
Arno
Arno
14312 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 23, 2020 - 1:13 PM

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (last update 27 May 2020)

Visit this page for tips regarding trip planning, cancellation and more: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus.

1. Can I visit Switzerland now?

Entry into Switzerland as a tourist is not possible yet, but this is about to change for some countries.

  • borders with France, Germany and Austria will be gradually opened, and should be fully open by June 15 2020. Traveling and tourism between these countries will be possible again;
  • Switzerland aims to have borders with Schengen countries fully open by July 6 at the latest. Free traveling and tourist entry should be possible again by then. No agreements have been made with countries outside of the Schengen zone yet.

Please find information about Schengen visas, tourist visas and planned border openings through:

2. What's the current coronavirus situation in Switzerland?

  • all events have been cancelled. From June 6, gatherings of up to 300 are allowed again. Gatherings of 1000 people or more will be prohibited until late August;
  • non-essential travels need to be avoided;
  • most stores are open and meal delivery services are available;
  • pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, train stations and petrol stations are open;
  • museums, libraries and compulsory schools are allowed to open;
  • restaurants are allowed to open. There's a maximum of 4 people per table;
  • sports in small groups are allowed;
  • all companies, restaurants and clubs have to close at midnight;
  • an app for tracing coronavirus cases and for warning is being tested;
  • borders are gradually opened (see #1).

This is the planning for further lifting of the bans, provided that there's no acceleration in the spreading of the virus:

  • June 6: mountain railways and cable cars will start operating. Zoos, swimming pools, theaters and campings will re-open. (Minor) sports events are allowed again, as well as gatherings up to 300 people. The maximum of 4 people per table in restaurants will no langer apply, but at least one member of groups larger than 4 has to leave their contact details for tracing reasons;
  • June 15: borders with France, Germany and Austria will be opened;
  • June 19: legally, the situation in Switzerland will no longer be labeled as 'extraordinary' but as 'special';
  • July 6: borders with Schengen countries will be opened.

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:

  • the train schedule is largely back to normal, after a period with a reduced schedule. 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/etcetera can be found on our activity pages: www.myswissalps.com/activities;
  • most postbuses, buses and trams operate on a normal schedule;
  • boat routes are reduced. The situation differs per lake and transportation company;
  • cable cars and mountain trains are operational if they are needed to reach towns. They are closed if they are only needed to reach leisure areas, like mountain peaks. This will change from June 6 (see #2).

Further details about traveling by public transportation:

  • passengers should try to keep a distance of 2 metres. If this isn't possible, wearing face masks is recommended;
  • transportation companies have intensified their cleaning routine;
  • toilet and washing facilities at major railway stations can be used free of charge;
  • Saver Day Passes and Supersaver tickets are not available until June 5;
  • special tourist trains, chartered trains and some international trains are mostly cancelled. Golden Pass trains do operate as normal. The Bernina Express will not operate until at least 5 June 2020. The Glacier Express will probably start operating in summer, but on a limited timetable: train 902 and 903 only (8:52 AM from Zermatt and 9:15 AM from St. Moritz);
  • group trips and most luggage services are suspended until June 5;
  • on-board restaurants are closed and there are no catering services on the trains.

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 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.

Last modified on May 27, 2020 - 3:06 PM by Annika
Nitya Singha
Nitya Singha
15 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2020 - 4:51 PM

Thank you very much. I would be grateful if you keep on updating this thread with latest news. Sincerely appreciated.

Yenhan10
Yenhan10
16 posts
new member
Feb 24, 2020 - 1:26 AM

Do Switzerland government ban flights from China or the countries with Covid-19 cases?

Angel7105
Angel7105
33 posts
active member
Feb 24, 2020 - 5:39 AM

hi,

Thanks for the updating of the Covid 19 new in switzerland. We plan to purchase Swiss travel pass for coming trip. Once, bought. Can we get refund ?

Angel7105

Arno
Arno
14312 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 24, 2020 - 8:05 AM in reply to Yenhan10

Hi Yenhan10,

As far as I know this is not the case yet, but some airlines have cancelled flights. Please check the links to get the latest news.

Arno
Arno
14312 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 24, 2020 - 8:06 AM in reply to Angel7105

Hi Angel7105,

Please see my original post, I just updated it.

Yenhan10
Yenhan10
16 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2020 - 4:10 PM

Oh my god, so there's already a case in Switzerland?

Does it affect the Bernina Express which travel to Tirano? Is Tirano being lockdown?

Arno
Arno
14312 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 25, 2020 - 5:56 PM in reply to Yenhan10

Hi Yenhan10,

This does not affect any travel within Switzerland at the moment, nor to Tirano. Tirano is in the Milan region (Lomdbardia), but not near the quarantined towns.

Last modified on Feb 25, 2020 - 6:05 PM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Feb 27, 2020 - 9:52 AM
Last modified on Feb 27, 2020 - 9:53 AM by rockoyster
ChriskK
ChriskK
9 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2020 - 5:42 PM

Currently, 14 cases :-(

www.swissinfo.ch/eng/covid-19_switzerland-confirms-second-coronavirus-case/45582788

The risk is still low, but the question is, "Will we be able to enjoy our trip?" We are scheduled to leave for Zurich on March 10th to explore Jungfrau and Zermatt.

Anna
Anna
822 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 28, 2020 - 6:38 PM

Hi all,

To contain the spread, the federal office has issued a temporary ban on events involving more than 1000 people. So the Basel Fasnacht Parade and the Zurich Fasnacht Parade this weekend are both cancelled or scaled down.

Anna

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Feb 28, 2020 - 7:11 PM

The following is a detailed report in today's RTN: www.rtn.ch/rtn/Actualite/Region/20200228-La-Confederation-interdit-les-manifestations-de-plus-de-1-000-personnes.html It is en français but if you are using Chrome which was installed in English, you can right-click and then select "Translate to English". Si vous comprenez déjà le français, ce n'est pas nécessaire.

This interdiction of all gatherings of over 1000 people is (for now) up to March 15 but as things develop, this date could be extended by order of the Conseil fédéral.

Interesting to note that some events, such as hockey playoffs (like the Ajoie - La Chaux-de-Fonds series), will carry on, but in arenas with no spectators (à huis-clos).

Last modified on Feb 28, 2020 - 7:45 PM by Peterli
Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Feb 29, 2020 - 5:36 AM

The attached map shows the ten communes in Lombardia that were under lockdown as of February 29. These are Codogno, Casalpusterlengo, Castiglione d'Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, and Vo' Euganeo. All of these are located to the south-east of Milano between the cities of Lodi and Cremona. I have added a green oval around Tirano to show the distance between it and Milan and the above-mentioned communes.

Please login to see the attached documents
Anna
Anna
822 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 29, 2020 - 7:03 AM in reply to Peterli

Thanks Peterli.

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Feb 29, 2020 - 6:44 PM

Here is an update concerning the canton of Berne from RJB: (Google translation from French).

The canton of Bern takes an even more drastic measure than the Confederation to fight against the coronavirus, it requests to cancel the demonstrations of less than 1000 people if a traceability is not possible.

Small events will also be affected by containment measures related to the coronavirus. Until Friday evening, only events involving more than 1,000 people were affected by a ban on assembly. At 7 p.m., the canton of Bern indicated in a press release that the measure was extended to demonstrations of less than 1,000 people if international participation could not be excluded. The measure is in effect until March 15 at least. The cantonal management body (OCCant) has taken the lead in coronavirus operations in the canton.

Not all gatherings are prohibited, but the canton requires guarantees. "Events of less than 1,000 people are still possible, provided that the organizers are able to prove that no participant has returned from a region affected by Covid-19 in the previous 14 days," say the authorities which further specify that the organizers "must also guarantee that the identity of the participants is known in order to be able to trace their contacts if necessary". The children's carnival in Moutier paid the price for this new measure. The organizers announced its cancellation late Friday evening.

Schools, on the other hand, will be able to resume lessons normally on Monday. If establishments were to close, the measure would be ordered by the cantonal doctor and communicated without delay.

The canton of Bern opened a hotline on Friday at 3 p.m. In particular, event organizers can find out about the situation and the conditions to be fulfilled (tel. 0800 634 634). All other information relating to the situation in the canton of Bern is gathered on this website

Vigneshlabam
Vigneshlabam
10 posts
new member
Mar 3, 2020 - 7:20 AM

Hi Arno,

Considering that the number of detected cases of people suffering from Corona virus has grown almost 3times in the last 2 days (15 to 42), is a trip from March 6 to March 15 still advisable? How are tourist activities like sight seeing and sports activities affected ? Is the general population taking extreme precautionary steps like wearing masks, working from home, cancelling appointments, etc?

gramels
gramels
41 posts
active member
Mar 3, 2020 - 7:41 AM

Life seems normal here in Zürich, where I live. I walked along the lake Sunday in nice weather, lot of people.

Mountain railways (such as Rigi Bahn) operate as normal.

Just more washing hands, less kissing and shaking hands for greeting.

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 3, 2020 - 7:54 AM

Here is the latest information from Swissinfo: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/in-depth/coronavirus

Steph
Steph
2275 posts
top member &
moderator
Mar 3, 2020 - 9:10 AM in reply to Vigneshlabam

Hi Vigneshlabam,

As stated by gramels, life continues quite normally, at least from an every-day aspect. People try to avoid shaking hands as well as other physical contact to "strangers", use lots of desinfectant, wash their hands often, etc.

The tour operator I work for operates all the tours to all destinations as usual, providing desinfectant and face masks to whoever wants one.

The Swiss Federal government has for the time being (end of March currently) banned activities with more than 1'000 members, such as football and icehockey games, concerts, etc. to avoid masses spending too much time closely together, but for a "regular" tourist I don't think there's any restrictions so far.

I think with an overall caution of having a virus around you will be fine.

Hope this provides some input.

Keep an eye on the links provided in this thread to follow official information.

Best,
Steph

Peterli
Peterli
1192 posts
top member
Mar 3, 2020 - 1:53 PM

Here is part of a newer update from Swissinfo, posted this afternoon (March 3).

Switzerland is one of the 20 countries most affected by the coronavirus worldwide, with 46 current active cases, but no deaths. Here is an overview of the situation and official response.

What is the current situation in Switzerland?

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the government has categorised the situation in the country as “special”, under the terms of the Epidemics Act. This allows the authorities to take over certain powers from the 26 cantons and to order measures, including bans on events. The application of these legal provisions is a first for Switzerland. Specifically, the government has banned all major events with more than 1,000 people until at least March 15, 2020. Some of the cancelled events include the Geneva International Motor Show, the Baselworld watch fair,and the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva. All top-flight Swiss soccer and ice-hockey games have also been called off.

Is it possible to become infected with the new coronavirus in Switzerland?

The risk of contracting the new coronavirus in Switzerland is currently moderate, according to the Federal Office for Public Health. In Switzerland, 46 infections were confirmed by federal and cantonal health authorities by March 3, 2020 (it was 47, but one person recovered). This puts Switzerland among the 20 countries most affected by Covid-19 globally, though no deaths have been recorded. The current figures from around the world can be found here. Advice regarding hankies and handshakes was published in all major newspapers.

What do you need to consider when travelling and staying in Switzerland?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet imposed any travel restrictions. It is advisable to check when traveling to events to see if they are still taking place, as major events have been banned and cantons and cities can also ban smaller events. No special measures are currently planned for schools, day-care centres, homes and other educational or care institutions. The government has ruled out closing the borders for the time being. Swiss International Airlines has reduced the number of flights to areas with a particular risk of infection.

In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, SWISS International Airlines has extended its flight suspension to China and added Iran and Italy to the list of countries with no or limited service.

Link to the update: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/covid-19_coronavirus--the-situation-in-switzerland/45592192

Last modified on Mar 3, 2020 - 1:56 PM by Peterli
Please login to see the attached documents

SWISS TRAVEL MUST KNOWS

All you need to know about traveling by train, bus or car in Switzerland.

More

NEED SOME TIPS ON WHERE TO SLEEP?

Hand picked Swiss hotels and other accommodations are right here.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2020