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Does the coronavirus affect trips to Switzerland?


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Heart Voyage
Heart Voyage
64 posts
active member
Aug 10, 2021 - 7:47 PM in reply to Xpresso

Hi,

Xpresso mentioned free test at Geneva airport and that sounds very good. Does anyone have the link for free test at Zurich airport to share? Our flight is at 7:00am, so we will plan to go to the airport the day before to have the test.

For US visitors, is it 72 hours from the departure time of the last flight or before landing in US?

Thank you.

Ildiko
Ildiko
1299 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 11, 2021 - 6:19 AM in reply to Heart Voyage

Hi Heart Voyage,

here is the page, you are looking for: www2.m3-test.ch/myTests. More test places in Switzerland can be found at www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning under the 'Where to get a Covid-19 test in Switzerland?' section.

I am not sure about the latest time you need to get the certification, I believe it is the landing time in the US. But to make sure I recommend asking your flight operator.

Take care,
Ildiko

More information about the Geneva Airport: www.myswissalps.com/airports/geneva

Tourgypsy
Tourgypsy
51 posts
active member
Aug 11, 2021 - 7:31 PM

Brief update: I arrived in Switzerland today after 30 hours of travel from home. While other airports seemed somewhat disorganized, going through Zurich was a breeze. They didn't do anything except the standard immigration check. It is my observation that all the checking is done previous to boarding a flight. In Boston they checked everything I might need to get through Heathrow Airport (where I connected), and then in Heathrow they checked the documents that would be needed for Switzerland.

My other observation is that I've NEVER seen the trains so empty. As was remarked earlier in these posts, I think it's going to be an incredible visit as there are so few tourists. 5 weeks to go.

Ildiko
Ildiko
1299 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 11, 2021 - 7:53 PM in reply to Tourgypsy

Hi Tourgypsy,

thanks for your update, I am happy that everything went smoothly. I wish you a wonderful stay, enjoy! :)

Please feel free to post your Switzerland experiences later on in the Trip Report part of this forum (www.myswissalps.com/forum/tripreports), we would be delighted to read them. :)

Safe holiday,

Ildiko

Last modified on Aug 11, 2021 - 7:55 PM by Ildiko
Memok
Memok
13 posts
new member
Aug 16, 2021 - 7:14 PM in reply to Xpresso

Hi

Are u sure the Covid-19 test in geneve Airport is free? Cuz i read that if u want the test for travelling u should pay?!

Anna
Anna
1553 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 17, 2021 - 9:51 AM in reply to Memok

Hi Memok,

The antigen self-test kit is free for Swiss residents and citizens. If I remember correctly Xpresso mentioned in one of her posts that she holds dual US and Swiss citizenship.

Regards,

Anna

Laurae
Laurae
20 posts
new member
Aug 23, 2021 - 11:29 PM in reply to Heart Voyage

I've just returned from a 3 week trip to Switzerland that included a pass through Italy on the Centovalli Express and a 2 day visit to the Lake Como area. I flew direct from the US to Zurich. Aside from all the pre-work I had to do (filling out an online form alerting the Swiss Migration Department of my travels and two online Italian Personal Locator Forms to travel through Italy and then actually go there) my experience was that travel was just as always, except I needed to wear a mask on public transportation and in buildings. Travel was effortless and as has been mentioned already, the trains were not as crowded. Gondolas to mountaintops were another story! Post Busses also tended to be full. This was the first time I took a few boat rides and they were not crowded.

Many US airlines have companies they cooperate with so that you can do a monitored Covid self tests to reenter the US. Check with the airline you're using. For the US, the test must be taken within 3 full days before entry, they're not nit-picking on the hours/time zones. My experience with the monitored self tests was effortless, taking about 25 minutes from start to finish and done in the comfort of my hotel room. The cost for two tests was $60.00, plus the small hassle of carrying them with me the whole trip and being sure they were not exposed to temps over 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

My trip was fabulous and well worth the extra preparation needed in regards to Covid!

Laura

Billandsuz1
Billandsuz1
22 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2021 - 12:18 AM in reply to Laurae

Laura, thanks so much for the report. We are departing September 4 for Switzerland. We're trying to rearrange our site seeing to avoid crowds around the Race out of Interlaken on September 10 and 11, but I fear just what you mentioned.... long lines for the gondolas and lifts. Oh well.. asi es la vida! What were the top 3 things you saw or did.

Laurae
Laurae
20 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2021 - 12:45 AM in reply to Billandsuz1

BillandSuz1,

My favorite things to do in Switzerland are to take long easy hikes in the beautiful countryside. I tend to avoid touristy things, though heading to secondary mountaintops for the exquisite views are a favorite (the Schilthorn or Mannlichen over the Jungfrau, the Stanserhorn over Pilatus, finally did do Rigi because it was included with the Swiss Travel Pass and I must admit the hiking there was beautiful, Stoos & the Fronalpstock).

Hard to limit it to top 3 but I'll say:

1) hikes (Flower trail at Rigi, Almendhubel and down to Gimmelwald in Murren, a small part of the ridge walk & also from the chairlift exchange to Stoos on the Fronalpstock, & the falls at Sonogno)

2) visiting off the beaten path places like Rueggisberg & Lavertezzo (staying overnight rather than a day trip in Lavertezzo makes it off the beaten path) and then Murren, which is my all time favorite. It was my 4th visit to Murren and I never tire of it. There are still hikes I want to take there.

3) the aforementioned mountaintop excursions. The Schilthorn & the gondola up to Murren were the crowded ones. but not nearly as crowded as in years past.

Laura e

Mwrights1984
Mwrights1984
14 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2021 - 2:57 PM in reply to Laurae

Hi Laura,

just curious which self test you used, and your thoughts on it… we are leaving September 3rd and the testing is the last detail to work out… thanks for your update

mike

Marjie
Marjie
9 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2021 - 6:49 PM in reply to Billandsuz1

Just in case Laurae doesn't see your question right away, you can order through emed.com. The test for travel back to US is: Abbott’s BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag At-Home Test Kit. They ship 1-day FEDEX, so you should be able to get it on time. I understand tests in Switzerland are very costly.

GoGiantsfan
GoGiantsfan
49 posts
active member
Aug 24, 2021 - 7:38 PM

Thanks Laura,

We have 8 of us leaving in September. Going to order the take home test also. I am surprised the Gondolas etc were so crowded. I keep looking at the webcams in Grindelwald etc and all the walking paths etc look so empty its seems really odd.

Laurae
Laurae
20 posts
new member
Aug 24, 2021 - 11:01 PM in reply to Mwrights1984

To all in re: to the take with you Home test:

We few United and they lay everything out on their website. It is a SPECIFIC home test made from Abbott. Be sure you get the right one. You need to create an account with emed.com and download and register on the Navica App before you leave the states. You can order the tests (they'll show the pics so that you know you're getting the right one) through emed, but at the time we needed them they only came in bundles of 6. (You are advised to take 2 with you). They seem to indicate that what you order can only be used by you--we couldn't share the 6 amongst the three of us. One sister found the same tests at RiteAid, I think, as she lives in CA. The other sister and I found we could order a 2 pack directly from Abbott. Express shipping was included in the $60.00 cost and we received them within 2 days. You have to have internet & camera capability where you will take the test as all of it is monitored. When I logged on to emed to take the test I had to hold my passport up to the camera, hold the QR code on my tests to the camera to verify they were registered to me, and then hold the camera (I used my iPad) so that the proctor could see me and the test at all times. This was a bit of a feat as I had to hold the iPad with one hand and open and manipulate all the components of the test with the other hand :) . My proctor was very kind and patient, however, and indeed this was the most difficult part of the whole process. She instructed and observed each step and after the swab was entered into it's correct place for reading I had to wait 25 minutes without disturbing anything. At that point a new proctor came on and affirmed the reading. I received a pdf and a QR code by email within 15 minutes with my results. (Note that they assign you a separate password to open the results--it's easy, just remember that step. I did not at first :) )

I flew United and was able to upload my results pdf to my travel ready center when I checked in before arriving at the airport in Zurich and that was all there was to it. My sisters flew the codeshare Swiss airline and they were not able to upload prior to arrival at the airport but had no problem in showing the documentation upon checkin at the airport.

Being able to take the test when I wished and the savings of more than 55% from taking the test in Switzerland offset the small hassles of carrying them around (and maintaining climate control) and all we had to do up front. We also took our test on a Monday--one sister had read online that some were experiencing long queues waiting for a proctor when they did their tests on the weekend during what would have been nighttime in the western hemisphere.

Hope this helps someone!

Laurae

Ildiko
Ildiko
1299 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 25, 2021 - 8:25 AM in reply to Laurae

Hi Laurae,

thank you very much for your detailed advice. I am sure that will be useful for many other readers too.

Ildiko

More information about the Covis test in Switzerland: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus/planning

Arno
Arno
14586 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 25, 2021 - 10:29 AM

Hi everyone,

As of August 4, India, Nepal and the UK are removed from the list of high risk countries. Traveling to Switzerland with children got a lot easier for vaccinated travelers (quarantine was required previously). It took a while for us to get this confirmed.

More news: travelers from Singapore who return from Switzerland may now spend their quarantine at home rather than at dedicated facilities.

My first post has been updated. More details are in the attachment that can be downloaded there.

Last modified on Aug 25, 2021 - 11:58 AM by Arno
Richard123
Richard123
44 posts
active member
Aug 25, 2021 - 7:31 PM

Covid trip update. Planned departure is September the 13th. Return October 8th. Delta site confirmed CDC Vaccination card for entry. I have the FOPH QR code and form for our entry. Delta recommended the "ellume Covid-19 home test" along with video observation. I went down to CVS and bought two kits for $38 each. I was able to schedule a test for both of us. There were two apps to download before traveling. The AZOVA registration is tedious. We both have to register separately, and have separate emails. We normally share an email account. The video tests are $15 each. After getting our results back ( negative we hope ) I will need to go to Delta site and fill out the Attestation form. What can go wrong..right!

Last modified on Aug 25, 2021 - 7:42 PM by Richard123
WilliamOB
WilliamOB
1 post
new member
Aug 26, 2021 - 1:10 AM

Thanks to this wonderful forum, I woke up last Sunday morning (the 15th) and my wife decided it was time for me to take a week’s holiday in Switzerland. I am a U.S. citizen with no visa for Switzerland.

I traveled on Icelandair from Boston to Geneva via Reykjavic (I purchased the ticket that morning and flew out in the evening). To transit through Iceland, I needed a rapid antigen test, so I found one that Sunday morning at a local New Hampshire clinic (as a vaccinated person, Switzerland did not require any test of me).

In Boston, I just needed to show my rapid antigen test and passport. I had my paper CDC vaccine card, but no one looked at it. Airport security was a breeze.

In Iceland, I cleared Schengen immigration by showing my passport and the same test (no vaccine card). An hour later, I was on my way to Geneva.

In Geneva, I landed at 1 pm, and I managed to catch the 1:19 train to Lausanne (after getting a SIM card with internet for the week, an ATM visit, and a bagel for the train ride). Love Swiss efficiency!

I used the free ticket to get into Geneva on the train (available from a machine in arrivals) and then swiped the Fairtiq app which I had installed and signed in using my U.S. mobile number and credit card before I departed Boston. Even though I had a new SIM, it still worked like a charm. At the end of my train, tram, and bus ride to the village outside Lausanne where I was staying with a friend, I was charged CHF 26.50 (no demi-tariff, either!). Love Swiss public transport!

I spent the week cycling over 400 km- into the Jura, through the Lavaux, and the highlight: the Grosse Scheidegg pass from Interlaken. For that ride, I traveled via train to Bern and then Interlaken and back via Fribourg after the day’s riding. All I needed was a mask on the fairly empty train.

For the trip back to the U.S., I took the advice of this forum and scheduled my rapid antigen test at Geneva Airport via the m3 Sanitrade website. I thought I might have cut it too tight getting in one last cycle this morning, booking my Supersaver ticket to the airport arriving at 11:57 for my 12:15 test and 2:00 flight, but I made it to my gate before 1 pm with plenty of time to spare. The rapid antigen test was extremely well organized- I just walked from the train station to Terminal 2 (takes about 15 minutes), showed my passport, got my test, and walked out 15 minutes later with the paper I needed for my flight. Check-in was quick and security was a breeze. There was no charge for the test, even as a tourist. Love Swiss surprises!

As you might tell from this post, I am over the moon happy that my wife sent me off for the week, and I can report that the trip went amazingly smoothly.

Ildiko
Ildiko
1299 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 26, 2021 - 7:24 AM in reply to WilliamOB

Hi WilliamOB,

thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am happy that you like the Swiss efficiency, I appreciate it too :)
Please feel free to share your further experiences about your holiday and cycling trips in the trip report part of the forum: www.myswissalps.com/forum/tripreports. I would love to hear more about them. I am pretty sure, you can also give us some cycling route tips.

Have a lovely evening,
Ildiko

Last modified on Aug 26, 2021 - 7:25 AM by Ildiko
luvmystang
luvmystang
75 posts
active member
Aug 26, 2021 - 4:31 PM

I just saw the following on the SchengenVisaInfo site - Not exactly sure what it's going to mean for future travels.

Switzerland Plans on Making COVID-19 Certificate Mandatory for Accessing Indoor Public Spaces, Even for Tourists

Here's the link to the article - > www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/switzerland-plans-on-making-covid-19-certificate-mandatory-for-accessing-indoor-public-spaces-even-for-tourists/

harveyshot
harveyshot
77 posts
active member
Aug 26, 2021 - 5:04 PM in reply to luvmystang

"paranoia strikes deep...."

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