Health Alert – COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein (April 24, 2020)

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Subject: Health Alert – COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein (April 24, 2020)
Location:  Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Update for U.S. citizens regarding COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive health and security updates and to ensure the State Department can locate you in an emergency.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  The CDC advises travelers to avoid all nonessential international travel.  Please see CDC website regarding high-risk traveler categories.

Please continue to monitor the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page and local news. Please share this message with other U.S. citizens currently in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Latest Information: 

The U.S. Embassy in Bern regularly assesses the situation and will re-open for routine consular services as soon as it is safe for both the public and our staff.  Although passport processing centers in the United States have suspended operations, U.S. citizen travelers may contact U.S. Embassy Bern and request an emergency passport appointment. Please visit our website for information on services that we are able to provide and for any updates.

For more information visit Embassy Bern’s COVID Information Page FAQs:

Swiss authorities have outlined the following three-step plan for gradually easing the emergency measures:

Phase 1: April 27, 2020:
Reopening of hair salons, cosmetic studios, doctors’ and physiotherapist practices, garden centers, and home improvement stores.

Phase 2: May 11, 2020: to be confirmed April 29, 2020
Reopening of compulsory schools (1st – 9th Grade), all other shops including department stores, and open-air markets. The government anticipates resuming full public transit services at this time.

Phase 3: June 8, 2020: to be confirmed
Reopening of education institutions, museums and zoos and libraries.

It is recommended that teleworking continues until further notice.

The public must continue to abide by the hygiene and social distancing rules

While the Swiss government has decided to not require face coverings at this time, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. public transport, grocery stores, pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on the disease.

Full press release from the Swiss government available

Country-Specific Information: Swiss authorities still categorize the situation in Switzerland as extraordinary under the terms of the Swiss Epidemics Act. Swiss authorities will now gradually begin to ease these measures as long as certain precautionary measures are respected.

Stay at home!
Even though the Federal Council has now authorized a certain relaxation of the measures as long as strict protective measures are put in place, the message remains: Stay at home whenever possible and avoid unnecessary contact. Only leave the home if you really have to. If you are over the age of 65 or have an underlying medical condition, Swiss authorities strongly recommend that you stay at home unless you have to go to the doctor.
Flights to the U.S.:

International commercial flight options currently exist in Switzerland.  U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Switzerland and Liechtenstein at this time. The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens have a plan to depart from Switzerland and/or Liechtenstein that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.

Direct flights: There is only one remaining direct flight from Switzerland to the United States in operation, the Zurich to Newark route operated by Swiss International Air Lines. This flight is currently scheduled 3 times a week, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, however this may change it any time and without prior notice.  The flight can be booked directly through Swiss or most travel arrangers.

Transit flights
: Many countries have closed their national borders. Travelers flying to the U.S. by transiting through a third country should work directly with the airline to confirm that they are allowed to transit.

The Department of State does not endorse any private company and assumes no responsibility or liability for services provided by private companies. Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the U.S.

For more information visit Embassy Bern’s COVID Information Page FAQs:

Local Resources:

For the most up-to-date information on numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Switzerland and Liechtenstein:
Federal Office of Public Health (English)
Federal Office of Public Health (German – most frequently updated)


U.S. Embassy Bern, Switzerland
031 357 70 11 (dialing within Switzerland)
+41 31 357 70 11 (dialing from overseas)

State Department – Bureau of Consular Affairs 
+1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada)
+1-202-501-4444 (from other countries)

Swiss Federal Office of Public Health Hotline
+41 58 463 00 00 (staffed 24 hours in German, French, Italian and English)

Switzerland Country Specific Information
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