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Does the coronavirus affect trips to Switzerland?

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clairebee
clairebee
4 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2020 - 4:14 PM

Hi everyone,

I am wondering if anyone knows the situation regarding paying in cash in Switzerland at the moment? All I can find is that cashless is being encouraged on public transport. Here in the UK a lot of shops are only accepting card/contactless payments at the moment due to the pandemic, is this similar in Switzerland? We will be in the Jungfrau region for a week towards the end of July - I was thinking of bringing CHF 150 in cash and using my credit card for everything else, but not sure if that will be too much?

Thanks!

Anna
Anna
1007 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 11, 2020 - 4:33 PM in reply to clairebee

Hi Clairebee,

If you are purchasing tickets from the counter or shopping at the supermarkets, contactless payment is preferred. Some shops still do accept cash payment but do check before you proceed. Supermarkets like Coop has self-service machines where you scan your shopping items yourself and pay in cash or using cards. Migros' self-service machines only accept cards. Most ticket vending machines accept both cards and cash. However, it is safer and more convenient to buy train tickets online via the SBB Mobile app on your smartphone. You can download it here: www.myswissalps.com/aboutswitzerland/practical/websites

Regards,

Anna

clairebee
clairebee
4 posts
new member
Jul 12, 2020 - 8:32 AM

Hi Anna

thank you for the info - it sounds like card will be accepted in most places so I think we'll just take a little cash. The only place we might need a lot is if any restaurants only accept cash, but would think that's rare?

We've got regional swiss passes so hopefully should be able to keep the ticket buying to a minimum!

Thanks again

Claire

SaraC
SaraC
28 posts
active member
Jul 12, 2020 - 4:37 PM in reply to clairebee

Hi Claire!

Most restaurants accept both, so cashless payment shouldn't be a problem. Remote little restaurants in small towns or up in the mountains may require cash, but that's really getting rare.

Enjoy your trip! :-)

Greetings, Sara

Annika
Annika
6366 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2020 - 6:12 AM in reply to Tourgypsy

Hi Tourgypsy. It wasn't quite clear in the beginning whether it was about residency, country of origin or other criteria. I'm sorry the situation turns out to be less positive for you than we initially thought. Fingers crossed you'll soon be able to return! Please let us know if you have further questions, either now or next year when planning a new trip :-).

SubrataPorel
SubrataPorel
3 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2020 - 8:24 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

As your updated post says travel to Switzerland from UK is allowed now, does this mean it is restricted for British citizens only? I've Indian passport with Shengen visa and staying in UK for last 3 yrs. Can I travel to Switzerland in late August this year as a tourist?

Annika
Annika
6366 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2020 - 9:26 AM in reply to SubrataPorel

Hi SubrataPorel! Travel options are mostly based on country of origin, but I guess a long-term visa such as yours does allow you to enter Switzerland from the UK. I suggest you contact the Swiss authorities to make sure though, using the infoline mentioned at www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende.html, or to contact the Indian embassy: www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/fdfa/representations-and-travel-advice/india.html.

We'd be very happy if you'd share the outcome here, as I'm sure that's relevant to other travelers as well :-)!

SubrataPorel
SubrataPorel
3 posts
new member
Jul 22, 2020 - 9:15 AM

Hi Annika,

I have got an email reply from Swiss immigration department that I'm still not allowed to travel to Switzerland as a tourist. I explicitly mentioned in my email that i'm residing in UK with long term Visa and my country of origin is India.It seems the restrictions been eased based on country of origin and residents.

Annika
Annika
6366 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 22, 2020 - 9:48 AM in reply to SubrataPorel

Thanks for your update SubrataPorel! I appreciate you taking the effort to let us know what you found out. I think you're right in concluding that the measures are based on country of origin, rather than current country of residence.

I'm really sorry to hear you can't visit Switzerland yet. Too bad you can't proceed with your holiday plans! Let's hope things will soon change for the better... Switzerland's regulations are updated on a regular basis, so I advise you keep an eye on the first post of this thread to check the recent information.

Merocasper
Merocasper
5 posts
new member
Jul 31, 2020 - 1:48 PM

Hi

I am from Egypt,

Is it acceptable to enter Swiss now or not yet ???

Anna
Anna
1007 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 31, 2020 - 3:04 PM in reply to Merocasper

Hi Merocasper,

The travel advice and restrictions are constantly being updated and while Switzerland has opened its borders to foreign visitors, this unfortunately does not apply to travelers from all countries. For detailed explanation, you should consult with the travel authority in your country or you can contact the Swiss Embassy in Cairo. Here is the link: www.eda.admin.ch/countries/egypt/en/home/representations/embassy-cairo.html

We are constantly updating this thread too and please keep an eye on the first post from time to time.

Regards,

Anna

Clare j brya
Clare j brya
1 post
new member
Aug 6, 2020 - 10:02 AM

We are planning a trip to Switzerland in three weeks, travelling from the UK through Belgium and Luxembourg in a motorhome. We can adapt it and travel through France but I think it's all looking up in doubt at the moment. What do you think? We can quarantine on return home but of course we don't want to have to quarantine in Switzerland! If we do manage to still travel do you think restaurants and bars will still be open? Things change so quickly. We have 5 days in Interlaken and then 3 days near to Zurich.

Anna
Anna
1007 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 6, 2020 - 6:54 PM in reply to Clare j brya

Hi Clare,

Welcome to MySwissAlps!

I'm sure you are aware that Luxembourg is listed as a high-risk country and upon arrival you will be required to self-quarantine if you travel through Luxembourg. The list is updated regularly based on current situation. Like you said, things can change quickly and in 3 weeks, Luxembourg may or may not be taken out of the list. We don't know. You can find the latest list here: www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html#1918240392

Most bars and restaurants are open but many are not running in full capacity and implement some measures of social distance.

The best advice I can give you before and during your travel is to stay on top of the news. We try to update this thread as soon as new information becomes available so make sure you follow this thread too.

Safe travel and regards,

Anna

Last modified on Aug 6, 2020 - 6:55 PM by Anna
leonard66
leonard66
1 post
new member
Aug 21, 2020 - 7:24 AM

i in thailand now, no covid for 2 months or so. i have to go to zurich in september, then come to thailand again, i notice the new cases are going up in switzerland, i hope they don't close zurich airport again,

Anna
Anna
1007 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 21, 2020 - 8:04 AM in reply to leonard66

Hi leonard66,

Thank you for joining MySwissAlps.

At the moment, the situation in Switzerland is under control but things could change quickly in a matter of days or weeks and new travel restrictions may be introduced or eased. As you will only be travelling in September, do follow this thread for the latest updates about the coronavirus situation here. Also, it is always good to check with your local travel authority regarding the risks and restrictions of travelling abroad from your country of domicile.

It is important to note that travellers entering Switzerland from a country or area with a high risk of infection are mandated to go into quarantine for ten days. You will find the list of these countries from the first post of this thread.

Regards,

Anna

Tiki
Tiki
2 posts
new member
Sep 15, 2020 - 8:11 AM in reply to Anna

Hello everyone!

I'm currently in the USA (California) but I'm not a citizen. I have a Serbian passport. Will I be able to go to Switzerland to visit my family next week?

I'm going to Serbia after staying in Switzerland. I haven't bought my ticket yet because I don't know if I'm allowed to enter Switzerland as a Serbian citizen coming from US.

Thank you in advance for answering

Anna
Anna
1007 posts
top member &
moderator
Sep 15, 2020 - 10:12 AM in reply to Tiki

Hi Tiki,

Thanks for joining MySwissAlps. Yes, if you are resident of the US with a Serbian passport you should be able to travel to Switzerland with ease. However, be aware that US is currently on the high-risk list, and you are legally mandated to go into quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

You can find more details here: www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html

I would recommend you also check with your local travel authority for any restrictions or limitations regarding travel to and coming back from Switzerland.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Sep 15, 2020 - 10:13 AM by Anna
Tiki
Tiki
2 posts
new member
Sep 16, 2020 - 5:22 AM in reply to Anna

Thank you so much Anna!

Gailannski
Gailannski
23 posts
new member
Sep 23, 2020 - 6:24 PM in reply to Arno

My husband and I are US citizens and have been spending about 3 months each year in Switzerland for the last 16 years. Our next trip is planned for December, January, and February and flight tickets, apartment rental and halb tax SBB were purchased before the virus hit.

We still would like to take our trip this December. We basically live like a Swiss person for those 3 months and we would, of course, follow all rules and be careful, just as we are currently doing in the US.

Since we don't qualify for any of the exceptions for entering Switzerland from the US (and we are more than happy to quarantine), I have discovered that we can travel to Ireland first. Although Ireland discourages travel, a US citizen is allowed to fly there but of course needs to quarantine for 14 days - no problem for us. Currently, travelers are allowed entry into Switzerland from Ireland with no quarantine, so, unless things change, we are thinking to fly to Ireland and quarantine for 14 days, then fly to Zurich.

I have written to the Swiss consulate in Chicago with this scenario because I wanted to make sure this would be possible (if the current rules remain unchanged). The first thing they wrote was:

The following information applies to US-citizens:

The border control authority will not allow you to enter Switzerland from a high-risk country (i.e. from any country that is not a Schengen state) unless you meet at least one of the following requirements:
then they list a bunch of requirements, which one of them is: You have rights of free movement.

So from my understanding, if I quarantine in Ireland and then I arrive in Zurich from Dublin, I should have free rights of movement, since people arriving from Ireland have free rights of movement. I had also read somewhere that it is not the passport you hold, but the country you arrive from, which makes sense.

I just keep finding bits of information here and there and sometimes they contradict each other. I am really determined to go to Switzerland, since it is like my second home. I just don't want to quarantine in Ireland and then get turned back in Zurich. I also heard that there are discussions of giving arriving tourists Covid tests at the airport, to help boost winter tourism in Switzerland. That would be great and I hope that comes to pass, or at least I hope we may have the possibility to quarantine in Switzerland. Also, we are not changing any tickets or putting any "new" plan in place until the week of our planned departure. We understand how quickly things change.

If anyone has done a route like this, I would love to know what your experience was! Thank you all!

Ildiko
Ildiko
1060 posts
top member &
moderator
Sep 24, 2020 - 9:42 AM in reply to Gailannski

Hi Gailannski,

this is a tricky question but I am afraid, you cannot do that, please have a look at this article: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/coronavirus--swiss-close-transit-travel-loophole/45998846. Also it seems that the country of residence that counts and not the country from which one travels in. Arno mentioned this in his first post in this thread, please check it.

I am very sorry. :(

Ildiko

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