QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (last update September 20, 2021)
- We carefully and frequently update the below information and everything else regarding the coronavirus throughout our website, but none of the information is guaranteed. Always double check with your travel organization and ministry of foreign affairs.
- All of the below applies to traveling into Switzerland. Please check whether your country of residence has imposed any restrictions for outgoing or returning travelers.
- We consider the country list compiled by Switzerland Tourism as the main source of corona related travel restrictions. You can download it at the bottom of this post.
- If you need a test in Switzerland, please see www.myswitzerland.com/en/planning/about-switzerland/covid-pcr-test/ for test locations.
1. Can I visit Switzerland?
A list published by the State Secretariat of Migration (SEM) indicates from which countries entry is not allowed. These will be exceptions. For travelers from all other countries, these rules apply:
- All travelers have to fill out an entry form: https://swissplf.admin.ch/formular. It's officially called "Passenger Locator Form" or PLF. Your data will be stored for 14 days.
- Travelers that are fully vaccinated and/or recovered from COVID (please refer to #2 and #4) can enter without further restrictions.
- Travelers that aren't fully vaccinated and/or recovered from COVID have to present a recent negative antigen or PCR test result upon arrival. If this can't be provided, they'll immediately have to take a (paid) test after arrival. Another (paid) antigen or PCR test has to be done after 4-7 days in Switzerland. The result has to be sent digitally to the relevant cantonal office. If either test result is positive, travelers have to go into quarantine and contact a cantonal medical service within 2 days.
- You can use travelcheck.admin.ch/check for entry measures for your situation.
- Children under 16 don't have to be tested.
- Travelers who are in Switzerland for a transit journey without stopping don't have to fill out the entry form and don't have to be tested.
- Commuters and travelers from bordering areas don't have to fill out the entry from and don't have to be tested. Bordering areas include Baden-Württemberg and Bayern in Germany, Tirol in Austria and Franche-Comté in France. A fulll overview is available at https://www.ezv.admin.ch.
- There will be random checks during flights, international bus/train rides, at borders and by cantonal authorities. Travelers that don't apply to the rules can be fined.
- Note that a Swiss or EU COVID-certificate is required to enter restaurants, bars, musea and other public areas in Switzerland. Please refer to #7.
2. Who is considered vaccinated?
- People who are fully vaccinated up to 12 months before their trip with one of the below vaccines. Proof is required. EU citizens can use the EU COVID-19 certificate.
- Approved by the Swiss authorities:
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26 COV2 S)
- Moderna (mRNA-1273/Spikevax)
- Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2/Comirnaty/Tozinameran)
- Additionally approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency):
- AstraZeneca (AZD1222 Vaxzevria/Covishield)
- Additionally approved by the WHO:
- Sinopharm/BIBP (Vero Cell)
- Sinovac (CoronaVac)
3. Who is considered tested negative for Covid-19?
- People who can show a negative antigen test or PCR test of up to 48 hours old. EU citizens can use the EU COVID-19 certificate.
4. Who is considered recovered from Covid-19?
- People who recovered from Covid-19 up to 6 months + 11 days before their trip. Proof is required. EU citizens can use the EU COVID-19 certificate.
5. Are there entry restrictions for children?
We don't have all details yet. We expect all rules under #1 to apply to everyone aged 16 years and older. For children under 16, we expect that only the entry form is required and that there are no further requirements (nor proof of vaccination/being recovered, nor having to present negative test results). We'll update this information once we have confirmation. 6. Which official sources for the coronavirus situation in Switzerland are available?
7. What's the current situation in Switzerland?
The vaccination of the Swiss population started 23 December 2020. The current status:
- Switzerland: 62% (at least one dose), 54% (fully vaccinated) (source)
- European Union: 78% (at least one dose), 72% (fully vaccinated) (source)
COVID-CERTIFICATE TO ENTER PUBLIC SPACES
Almost everything is open and operational. For many public spaces such as hotels, restaurants and museums, a Swiss or EU COVID-certificate (with proof of vaccination, being recovered or a negative test result) is required.
- This applies to everyone from the age of 16.
- The Swiss COVID-certificate will be available to those vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the Swiss authorities and the EMA (European Medicines Agency). Whether it will also be available for those vaccinated with other vaccines approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) is yet to be decided. Switzerland will discuss this with the EU. Please refer to #2.
- The areas that can be entered with a certificate will no longer require social distancing rules or the use of face masks.
- For basic needs, such as supermarkets and most public transportation, you don't need a certificate.
This is how long the certificate is valid:
- For fully vaccinated people: 365 days, starting from the day of the last vaccination.
- For recovered people: 180 days, starting from 11 days after the positive test result.
- For people with a negative PCR test result: 72 hours, starting from taking the test sample.
- For people with negative antigen test: 48 hours, starting from taking the test sample.
This is how to obtain a certificate (relevant for people that don't live in Switzerland or the EU):
- A system will be set up for for vaccinated travelers to obtain a Swiss COVID-certificate digitally before departure. This should be operational as soon as possible: probably by late September/early October. There will be one federal website listing cantonal contact points. Travelers can arrange for their certificate using the contact point of the canton in which they'll be staying. If you'll be traveling through several cantons, you can use the canton you'll be entering in or staying in first. Your certificate will be valid throughout Switzerland, no matter from which canton you obtained it. The cantonal website will explain which documents you need to upload (as photo, scan or PDF). The certificate will then be sent digitally by e-mail, as downloadable PDF or through InAppDelivery.
- Until October 10, there's a transition phase. During this phase, all foreign vaccination certificates approved by the WHO will be valid to enter the public areas for which a Swiss or EU-certificate is required.
- For some cantons, the system already works. So you can try to already apply for your certificate using a cantonal application process using the links below.
Links with information about the COVID-certificate:
Public transport to, from and in Switzerland is operational. On international train trips, delays may occur due to COVID-certificate checks. See www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-europe/corona-international-rail-travel.html for details.
A COVID-certificate is not generally required for public transport and not in airport transit areas. Instead, you should keep a distance of 1,5 m and wear a face mask. This can briefly be taken off to eat or drink. Travelers can best pay cashless as much as possible.
Some special panorama trains and catering zones of trains and boats do require a COVID-certificate. An example is the Glacier Express: www.glacierexpress.ch/en/menu/services/aktuelle-lage.
SWISS COVID APP
The 'SwissCovid' app helps tracing the coronavirus and warns users if they have may have been exposed to the virus. Using it is not obligatory, but recommended: www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/swisscovid-app-und-contact-tracing.html.
8. What can MySwissAlps.com do to help me?
We regularly update this thread and the information here: 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.
Stay safe and enjoy Switzerland!