Covid-19 Updates

last updated 24 Dec 2020

Switzerland Covid-19 Regulations

  1. Entry Restrictions

International travel to Switzerland is currently restricted, except for the following passengers:

  • Nationals of Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as their spouses and minor children;
  • Residents of Switzerland holding one of the following immigration status documents, and their immediate family members:
    • a residence permit, i.e. a Swiss residence permit (L / B / C / Ci permits);
    • a cross-border permit (G permit),
    • an FDFA legitimation card;
    • a D visa issued by Switzerland;
    • a C visa issued by Switzerland after 16 March 2020 in a valid exceptional case or in order to work on a short-term contract, if arriving from a country other than South Africa or the United Kingdom;
    • an assurance of a residence permit from a cantonal migration authority or an entry permit with a visa issued by Switzerland.
  • Residents of Liechtenstein;
  • Nationals of EEA Member States, if arriving from a country other than South Africa or the United Kingdom;
  • British nationals, if arriving from a country other than South Africa or the United Kingdom;
  • Travelers arriving from Schengen Member States, Andorra, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Singapore, Thailand, Uruguay or Vatican City (Hole See) [if these travelers transit through other countries, they must have stayed within the international transit area of the airport to be permitted entry to Switzerland);
  • Residents of Schengen Member States returning to their country of residence directly via Switzerland and who did not arrive from South Africa or the United Kingdom;
  • Spouses, registered partners, children under 21, grandchildren under 21 years, dependent children, dependent grandchildren, dependent parents or dependent grandparents of EU, EEA and British nationals, provided they have proof of said family relationship AND arrived from a country other than South Africa or the United Kingdom;
  • Unmarried partners of Swiss citizens or of holders of Swiss residence permits; who possess a written invitation from their partner in Switzerland and proof of the relationship;
  • Travelers who are specialists in the healthcare sector and need to enter Switzerland for important professional reasons;
  • Passengers in transit, including the following:
    • Transit from a Schengen state to other Schengen states
    • Transit from a Schengen state to a third country
    • Transit from a third country considered to be high-risk to a Schengen state, but only if the travelers hold a residence document for their destination country in the Schengen Area.
    • Transit from a third country not considered to be high-risk to a Schengen state
    • Transit from a third country not considered to be high-risk to another third country
  • Travelers who seek to enter Switzerland to attend court appearances and business appointments that cannot be postponed or meetings that require personal presence; for example, to negotiate or sign a contract, business-related inspections, practical training courses or essential assignments;
  • Travelers from third countries who are providing a cross-border service, for up to eight days in any calendar year or who are working temporarily in Switzerland for a foreign employer from a third country, provided their personal presence is essential (e.g. practical education and training courses, and/or training on the Job);
  • Travelers who are professional sportsmen and women and their coaches, etc., in order to participate in competitions or for training camps – e.g. to play in qualification matches in football or international tennis tournaments;
  • Passengers seeking to enter Switzerland to pursue education or training that lasts more than 90 days and holding the requisite residence permits;
  • Travelers seeking to continue essential medical treatment that began in Switzerland or abroad.

Flights to Switzerland from South Africa and the United Kingdom have been suspended until further notice.

2. Quarantine/Self-Isolation Requirements

Travelers who have spent time in any country or area with an increased risk of infection in the 10 days prior to their entry to Switzerland are legally required to complete a 10-day quarantine period and report their arrival in Switzerland to the cantonal authorities. If a traveler enters Switzerland via a country or area that does not have an increased risk of infection, the competent cantonal authority may deduct the time spent in that country or area from the period that must be spent in quarantine.

Only the following travelers coming to Switzerland from high-risk countries/areas are exempt from the quarantine requirement:

  • Travelers who transport other persons or goods professionally by road, rail, ship or plane;
  • Travelers who enter Switzerland for compelling professional or medical reasons and whose visit cannot be postponed;
  • Travelers who as transit passengers have stayed less than 24 hours in a country or area with an increased risk of infection;
  • Travelers who enter Switzerland for the purpose of transiting the country and who intend and are able to travel on directly to another country;
  • Travelers who return to  Switzerland after participating in an event in a country or area with an increased risk of infection, provided they prove that their participation and stay took place in compliance with a specific precautionary measures plan; participating in an event includes in particular participating, normally in a professional capacity, in a sports competition or cultural event, or in a professional conference;
  • Travelers who return to Switzerland after a stay in a country or area with an increased risk of infection for compelling professional or medical reasons which could not be postponed.

It is important to note that a negative COVID-19 test result will not exempt travelers from the quarantine requirement nor can it be used to shorten the 10-day quarantine period.

Once travelers have arrived in Switzerland and are deemed to be subject to the quarantine requirement, they will need to immediately travel to their home or to other suitable accommodation (e.g. a hotel or holiday apartment). They must also report their arrival to the responsible cantonal authority within two calendar days of their arrival in Switzerland. The travelers must also abide by the quarantine protocol for the entire 10-day period after arrival.

Travelers who fail to comply with any part of the quarantine or reporting requirements in Switzerland can are subject to a fine of up to CHF10,000.

Please note that this page is updated on an ongoing basis, but COVID-19 related restrictions and policies are subject to frequent and sudden change, often with little to no advance notice to the public. Therefore, to ensure that you have the latest updates, we recommend that you reach out to T&S at emea@tandslaw.com for additional information.

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