QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (last update January 14, 2021)
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 current situation:
- allowed to enter and return without restrictions: residents of Austria and Poland;
- not allowed to enter, or allowed to enter but with restrictions (such as mandatory quarantine, a recent negative test or (self-performed) health checks) when entering Switzerland and/or when returning home: residents of all other countries.
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 vaccination of the Swiss population started 23 December 2020. This will continue for quite some time. Measures against the virus will continue to apply. Throughout Switzerland, restaurants, non-essential shops and markets, sports facilities and cultural facilities are closed. This may last until February 28. Minor differences may apply per canton. Please find an overview per canton at www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/planning/transport-accommodation/travel-to-switzerland/where-and-when-is-what-open/#open). This is the overall situation:
- borders between Switzerland, Schengen countries and some more countries are partly open for (tourist) traveling. Details and exceptions can be found under #1;
- wearing a face mask is mandatory for all people over 12 years old in all public buildings (such as shops and public areas in hotels), in public transportation as well as on railway stations, bus and tram stops and at airports. The same goes for any outdoor area in which a distance of 1,5 m can't be kept;
- outside, one can be with a maximum of 4 people (so 5 in total);
- winter sports are only partially possible. The options differ per area: please refer to the link above. The amount of visitors can be limited. Cable cars and gondolas may run with limited capacity as well, to ensure that guests can keep some distance during the ride. Wearing face masks is obligatory. Everyone should keep a distance of 1,5 m as much as possible. Indoor sports facilities will be closed for the time being;
- for gatherings of all sorts (public events, sports, cultural activities and private gatherings) a varying maximum number of people applies;
- hotels are open;
- restaurants will be closed, probably until February 28. Take-away services and delivery services will still be available and hotels may cater to their guests. Guests can be asked to identify themselves and/or leave their contact details for tracing reasons. A maximum amount of guests per table applies and guests should be seated. They may take off their masks once seated;
- museums, swimming pools, zoos and libraries will close, probably until February 28;
- pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, petrol stations and essential shops are open. Many facilities have to close at 19 pm and during Sundays and holidays. A maximum number of guests can apply. How many visitors are allowed in at the same time, depends on the size and surface of the store;
- an app for tracing coronavirus cases and for warning is 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.
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 (including boats, mountain railways and cable cars) and at airports, railway stations, tram and bus stops 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. You can also buy them online via Amazon;
- 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 mostly operating and most boat rides are available according to normal schedules;
- tourist trains are operating. Please check timetables through the 'Route' tabs on each of our activity pages. Saver Day Passes and Supersaver tickets are available . On-board catering and luggage services are offered too.
Train trips from and to France, Germany, and Austria are possible. Night trains and night buses might be suspended though, and the timetables from/to France are reduced for the time being. Train connections from and to Italy are temporarily limited. Always plan ahead carefully and check the timetable for your planned travel dates.
Further details about traveling by public transportation:
- passengers should try to keep a distance of 1,5 m. 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.