With the epidemiological situation continuing to improve in most European countries and further afield in the world, as well as with the rapid vaccination rate prevalent in most regions, similar to other countries, Switzerland is now widely open to travelers wishing to visit the country during this summer.
Hence, for all those who are considering spending a dreamy summer in Switzerland, which is famous for its mountains, lakes and stunning scenery, but are unsure of the restrictions and requirements related to the coronavirus in the country, this complete guide includes everything one needs to know before planning a trip.
Who can enter Switzerland?
Based on the current epidemiological situation, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has revealed that travelers from 25 EU/Schengen area countries can enter Switzerland without experiencing any restrictions related to coronavirus.
Thus, this means that travelers from the following countries are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements as long as they hold an EU Digital COVID-19 certificate:
Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Sweden Slovakia Slovenia Spain
In addition, with the exception of the countries of the European Union / Schengen area mentioned above, entry without restrictions is also allowed for those coming from third countries listed below (including European small countries) that have been added to the EU list of epidemiologically safe countries, for which it has been proposed EU Commission Gradual Lifting of Restrictions:
Albania Andorra Armenia Australia Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Canada Croatia Cyprus Hong Kong Ireland Israel Japan Jordan Kosovo Lebanon Macau Moldova Monaco Montenegro New Zealand North Macedonia Qatar Romania San Marino Saudi Arabia Serbia Singapore South Korea Taiwan Ukraine United States of America Vatican City State
Previously, FOPH announced that fully vaccinated travelers and people who have recovered from COVID-19 coming from India, UK and Nepal will not be required to follow testing and self-isolation rules as these countries have been removed from Switzerland’s list of countries with variables of concern.
What rules are allowed for travelers to enter Switzerland?
FOPH has highlighted that different rules apply to citizens of the above countries, depending on the form of travel they use to reach Switzerland.
Arrivals from any of the countries allowed to enter Switzerland and who enter the territory of the latter by car, bus, train or plane are exempt from any restrictions related to the epidemic as long as they present a certificate of vaccination, a negative result of a COVID-19 test, or a certificate proving recovery from the virus.
However, those arriving in Switzerland by air transport must also fill out an entry form. The condition applies to children as well.
According to the Swiss authorities, in order for a certificate of vaccination to be valid as well as for its holder to be considered fully vaccinated, all travelers must prove that they have received a vaccine under the following conditions:
It has been authorized for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and administered in line with the recommendations of the country in which the vaccine was administered.
>> What COVID-19 vaccines are approved for travel to Switzerland
For all those planning to travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new tool developed by VisaGuide.World helps you check if the destination you are planning to visit is valid proof of vaccination with the vaccine you were vaccinated with.
With regard to the Recovery Certificate, the validity of this document starts from the eleventh day after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, and is accepted as valid for 180 days.
For those who decide to enter Switzerland by submitting a negative COVID-19 test result, a PCR test result must be obtained within 72 hours prior to entry, while a rapid antigen test result must be performed within 48 hours prior to arrival.
Are you not fully immunized or unable to prove that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months? In the following cases, you will have to provide evidence of a negative PCR test (no later than 72 hours) or a rapid antigen test (no more than 48 years old) hour) if you are to enter Switzerland by plane,” the FOPH statement said.
Children under 16 years of age are exempt from the test requirements.
What is open to tourists in Switzerland?
With the epidemiological situation significantly improving within the country as well as with the introduction of the EU’s COVID digital certificate, the Swiss authorities have decided to maintain more flexible measures.
As such, tourists coming to Switzerland will find that most places are open, including cafes, restaurants, shops, museums, parks, hotels, thermal baths, beaches, etc.
“The number of people allowed to attend events between friends and family (for example, gatherings and parties) that are not held in institutions and companies accessible to the public is limited. The numbers include children,” the Federal Office of Public Health noted while establishing that a maximum of 30 people are allowed in indoor gatherings and Maximum 50 people in outdoor gatherings.
In addition, preventive measures against the Corona virus are still in place, which means that all people are required to respect social distance, and to keep their masks in indoor public spaces as well as in enclosed spaces of public vehicles.
Swiss authorities have announced that COVID-19 certificates will become mandatory for anyone wishing to attend certain indoor activities and spaces. This means that soon everyone will have to obtain a health permit in order to be allowed into bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters and many indoor venues.
Swiss vaccination passport
Switzerland is the first country outside the EU and the European Economic Area to connect to the EU’s COVID-19 digital certification portal after the EU Commission decided to recognize the Swiss COVID-19 vaccination passport as equivalent to that issued in the EU.
As such, this means that all Swiss certificate holders will now be eligible to travel within the 27-nation bloc while being subject to the same rules that apply to EU COVID-19 digital certificate holders.
The recognition of the Swiss testimony was welcomed by Commissioner of Justice Didi Reynders, who said that “this will allow EU citizens and Swiss nationals to travel more safely and freely this summer”.
The EU Digital COVID-19 Passport has been created by the European Union Commission in order to facilitate travel within the European Union and has the following features:
One-page document submitted in digital or paper format free of charge Issued in the national and English languages Safe and secured document Valid in all EU countries COVID-19 Status and Vaccination Rate in Switzerland
According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, as of August 29, Switzerland has identified 764,638 cases of COVID-19, with six new cases reported in the past 24 hours. The same revealed that the country recorded 10,416 deaths related to the coronavirus disease.
As for the vaccination campaign, the Federal Federation of Public Health (FOPH) noted that the state prioritizes high-risk groups in receiving the vaccine first.
“The COVID-19 vaccination strategy prioritizes people by risk groups (target groups 1 to 4) and all others (target group 5). Risk groups include people at increased risk of serious disease, infection or transmission. The personnel administering the vaccination verifies that the person belongs to the relevant group,” the FOPH statement notes.
So far, 57.5% of the Swiss population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 51.7% have been fully vaccinated.
Travel Insurance: A MUST HAVE when traveling to Switzerland
It is highly suggested that all people who are planning to visit Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic to purchase extended travel insurance that covers pandemic situations.
This purchase ensures that all travelers save most of the amount spent on booking their flight in the event that it is canceled due to the high rates of coronavirus infection.
Travel insurance in Switzerland can be purchased at a very reasonable price from AXA Assistance, MondialCare or Europ Assistance.
Planning to visit other EU countries this summer? Here’s what to expect
If you are planning to visit other European countries this summer, the following guides explain everything you need to know before booking your trip:
Note: This article was originally published on July 27. Since then, it has been constantly updated with the latest changes. The last changes to the article were made on August 29, in line with the latest updates made by the Swiss authorities.