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Does the coronavirus affect trips to Switzerland?


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Anna
Anna
1553 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 19, 2021 - 4:44 PM in reply to Ohman 91

Hi Ohman91,

According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health website, only travellers who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from presenting negative PCR or rapid antigen tests in order to enter Switzerland. Fully vaccinated means you have received two vaccine doses, as explained here: www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/impfen.html#-370631481

So it might be a good idea to travel only after you have received your second dose of vaccination if you find testing a hassle.

Currently in Switzerland we don't need to present a COVID certificate to enter a supermarket. But measures such as wearing masks and keeping your distance are still in place in most public places.

You can find more useful tips about planning a trip during a pandemic here: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus

Let us know if you need further information.

Regards,

Anna

Rgoppelt
Rgoppelt
37 posts
active member
Jul 19, 2021 - 5:38 PM in reply to harveyshot

i saw a cheap flight for 590 but you pay for luggage , seats, and it is uncancellable. The flighht may be cheap but the risk is higher. However you might be saving enough money to offset the cost of insurance and buying clothes in Switzerland if you don't wnat to pay the luggage fees each way. You might want to make sure it is a direct flight to Geneva. I read that if you transit through other countries you may need a covid test and there was an 8 hour delay in Heathrow because they had a shortage of workers.

Xpresso
Xpresso
90 posts
active member
Jul 19, 2021 - 6:06 PM in reply to harveyshot

I subscribe to Scott’s Cheaps Flights. They alert you to great deals to anywhere in the world from your local airports. They don’t book the flights fir you, they just find the deal and then tell you what airlines are offering those deals and for what time frame and they give you a link to Google flights to check it out. You can do the free membership or upgrade ($40 a year I think but worth it when you take advantage of the deals)!

Tourgypsy
Tourgypsy
51 posts
active member
Jul 19, 2021 - 6:41 PM in reply to Rgoppelt

You don't need to get a Covid test AT Heathrow if you're transiting. You just have to have it within 72 hours of your arrival. It's only if you're leaving the transit area that you need another test there.

harveyshot
harveyshot
77 posts
active member
Jul 19, 2021 - 10:59 PM in reply to Xpresso

I've been to Scott's Cheap Flights in the past but have always been hesitant to pay the extra. Plus, we'll be flying out of OKC and not a major hub or destination city and that has a lot to do with pricing. Might take the gamble later this year, though.

I won't book anything until they remove the mask mandates on flights. 9,10,11 hours with a mask on is ridiculous. If it doesn't change by November, we just won't go. We lost a bunch of money our 2020 trip that had to be cancelled and most of our reservations were free to cancel!

Thanks for the reply.

Xpresso
Xpresso
90 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 8:14 AM in reply to harveyshot

We arrived in CH yesterday and the masks on the 9 hrs of flying didn’t bother us at all. We didn’t even think about it, we were too excited to be in Switzerland. Actually I stretched my mask up enough to cover from my mouth to my eyes so made it dark enough to sleep hah. Btw: Scott’s cheap flights allowed my family to fly not only r/t from Washington to Geneva for $400 each but also Newark to Puerto Rico for Spring Break for $49 each way per person! It’s worth the $40 (and there’s also a free version).

A photo out the window of my view this week from my favorite place on earth, Ouchy in Lausanne overlooking Lac Leman. I’m so happy! I’m SO incredibly thankful to everyone on MySwissAlps who helped with our return to Switzerland!

Last modified on Jul 20, 2021 - 8:15 AM by Xpresso
Please login to see the attached documents
Anna
Anna
1553 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 20, 2021 - 8:38 AM in reply to Xpresso

Ooh, great shot.

Have a good trip Xpresso!

Regards,

Anna

harveyshot
harveyshot
77 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 5:08 PM in reply to Xpresso

Different strokes, I guess. Back when it was mandatory, I could barely get through a store wearing a mask. Bugged the crap out of me. Nose always itched. Of course, being a 71 year old libertarian American didn’t help, either. :)

luvmystang
luvmystang
75 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 6:14 PM

Hey all,

I know I promised a report and it's now almost a week since I returned from CH, so here goes.

Overall we had a wonderful experience. We had a couple days of rainy weather but fortunately left before the really bad rains arrived. As I previously posted, leaving US and arriving in CH was a pretty seamless process. We spent 2 days in Zurich and explored the city and ventured out to St. Gallen and Stein am Rhein. Then we headed to where my heart had been longing to be for 2 years.....Berner Oberland. We spent 4 nights in Wengen (the most magical place on earth in my opinion) and then 3 nights in Iseltwald on Lake Brienz with stunning lake views before heading back to Zurich for our return flight. Crowds were almost non existent, which although it was nice for us, I know is a big struggle for the folks depending on tourism. We had the Swiss Travel Pass for the first part of our trip and the Berner Oberland Pass for the rest of the time and this was a perfect combination for us. Everything we did was covered by the passes.

Before returning home, we did the Ellume Covid-19 video observed self test which was pretty straightforward. The results were emailed to us within 15 minutes and I was able to get copies printed at the hotel. On the day of our return trip, we decided to get to the airport very early (flight was at 12 and we got there at 7:30) because I had not been able to do the online check-in and just because we didn't know what to expect. First surprise, even though our tickets were booked directly via Delta, there was no Delta check-in counter in the airport. Turns out, since our first flight out was on KLM that's where we needed to check in....BUT, they did not even open the KLM counter until 9:30. So there we sat in the airport for 2 hours waiting. When the counter finally opened, we checked in, provided a copy of the Covid test along with passports and then were able to proceed thru security to the gates and waited there for our flight to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam we had to go thru passport control and then proceeded to our gate for the flight. The night before while trying to check in I saw something about a "Passenger Disclosure & Attestation to the USA" form that needed to be downloaded and filled out and presented before boarding the flight to the US. After some searching I found the actual form and was able to print it at the hotel, so we had a copy. However, at the gate in Amsterdam there were MANY who did not have this form and they could not board until they filled it out (someone was handing out the form at the gate). So we had to show that form, our passport and boarding pass to one agent at the gate. Then we proceeded to a secondary gate agent who then also checked our passport, boarding pass and then collected that document. As you can imagine, this process greatly increases boarding time and they actually started the boarding process 45 minutes in advance of departure.

Rest of the trip was pretty straight forward. Landed in Atlanta, went thru passport & customs and then proceeded to the gate for our last leg of the trip. At this time, Delta is not offering convenient connections to Switzerland, which is pretty disappointing, but hopefully that will change quickly. I have another trip planned (taking a group of 10 to Switzerland) in September, so fingers crossed!

Yes, wearing a mask for that long plane ride is frustrating, and wearing it on the trains, in the restaurants, etc while in Switzerland was also annoying at times. But I was pretty much willing to do anything at this point in order to be able to visit.

I've attached the Attestation form and a couple pics. Hope others find this information helpful. Go see Switzerland if you are able!!!

Please login to see the attached documents
SwissMiss72
SwissMiss72
14 posts
new member
Jul 20, 2021 - 7:02 PM in reply to luvmystang

Hi luvmystang,

thanks so much for the update/report and gorgeous pictures!

We are scheduled to leave in a few days, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are not going to close everything down again because of Delta... Were you asked to show your proof of vaccination at any point on your way to CH (check-in, boarding, customs..)? Did you just show your little vaccination card?

Thanks!

Richard123
Richard123
44 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 7:10 PM in reply to luvmystang

Thank you for the pictures and travel update.

we are looking forward to our September trip.

luvmystang
luvmystang
75 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 7:39 PM in reply to SwissMiss72

The only time we showed the vaccination card was at the airport here in US at check-in.

Fingers crossed all stays open!

Mwrights1984
Mwrights1984
14 posts
new member
Jul 20, 2021 - 7:56 PM in reply to luvmystang

Thanks so much for keeping all of us updated.We are leaving Sept 3rd and pray everything remains open.....Would you recommend the self administered test to return or did you see ones in Switzerland that would be more convenient? Did you ever have to show negative test on your return to U.S.

Once again thanks for all the INFO.

luvmystang
luvmystang
75 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 8:00 PM in reply to Mwrights1984

The self administered test was the best option for me and much cheaper than doing it in Switzerland. The only time we had to show the results of that test were when we checked in to return home at the Zurich airport.

Good luck with your trip!

harveyshot
harveyshot
77 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2021 - 9:01 PM in reply to luvmystang

Great report!

I should have mentioned our European road trip in April will begin and end in Amsterdam and we’ll only be in Switzerland for a few days. We picked Amsterdam because of the Tulip Festival in April that we really want to experience.

I’ve never been to Europe so I have to take in as much as possible while we’re there because being 72, I’m sure I’ll never be back.

The things we want to do in Switzerland is get a 007 burger at Piz Gloria on Schilthorn, check out Wengen and some other villages (I do know about the ‘no cars’ towns), visit Zermatt and the Matterhorn and just drive around and view the sights.

Our first hotel will be in Tasch for the Matterhorn and then on to Wilderswil for Schilthorn with a side trip to Domodossola for their Saturday market. We love things like that.

Annika
Annika
6619 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 21, 2021 - 5:28 PM in reply to luvmystang

Hi luvmystang! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. They're very helpful for other travelers. I'm happy to hear you were finally able to visit the Bernese Oberland again :-). If you could share your trip report in the designated forum section (www.myswissalps.com/forum/tripreports), many more visitors will be able to find it. If you're willing to do so: thanks in advance!

luvmystang
luvmystang
75 posts
active member
Jul 21, 2021 - 6:49 PM in reply to Annika

I will be happy to do so...Will work on it later today

Thanks!

twooldgoats
twooldgoats
20 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2021 - 7:01 PM in reply to luvmystang

Thanks, luvmystang, for the trip report. We're headed over there in about two weeks, flying in and out of Paris and to Switzerland and back by train. I especially appreciate the link to the form. I printed out copies for my wife and me. I'm still hoping the US will drop the negative test requirement for return, but it doesn't seem likely at this point.

Jim

Joejax
Joejax
29 posts
active member
Jul 22, 2021 - 12:21 PM in reply to luvmystang

luvmystang,

Thank you for your report and discussion points about your recent trip. My wife and I are heading over for 10 days at the end of September. At this point of time, how strict is the mask wearing enforced. I assume masks must be worn on trains as they are on Airplanes. In towns such as Zurich and Wengen, you said that masks must be worn in restaurants, etc. If we are walking down the street in Wengen or taking a gondola up a mountain, are masks required? When you reach the top, are masks removed as you walk around outside? How about at an outside cafe having lunch or a cup of coffee? Is the mask wearing enforced or is it more peer pressure? As you know, the mask wearing is fairly relaxed in the US at this time.

Joejax

Ildiko
Ildiko
1297 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 22, 2021 - 12:54 PM in reply to Joejax

Hi Joejax,

These are the rules at the moment:

Passengers of trains and other public transport (cable cars included) should try to keep a distance of 1.5 m. Masks are compulsory in closed cabins and trains. You can take off your mask while you are hiking.

Masks are compulsory in shops too.

In some city centres (busier pedestrian streets) there might be signs that you need to wear your mask on the streets too but if this rule applies, there will be a sign for sure.

Restaurants: No mask is required to be worn at the table, but anyone moving around the restaurant must wear a mask. Masks are compulsory for staff. In outdoor areas, there are no space restrictions and no obligation to wear a mask or to sit, but the distances must be observed.

For further information and updates please keep an eye on the first post in this thread.

Have a great day,
Ildiko

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