Health Alert – COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein (May 22, 2020)

Subject: Health Alert – COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein (May 22, 2020)
Location:  Switzerland and Liechtenstein

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

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

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. 

Current Information: 

Swiss Authorities still categorize the situation in Switzerland as extraordinary under the terms of the Epidemics Act.  However, mandated restrictions are being gradually eased.  All businesses and institutions must put in place a set of precautionary measures and everyone must observe hygiene and social distancing rules.

For a list of open/permitted activities please visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page

Permitted from 28 May

All forms of religious services and religious celebrations, privately or in a community (Requirement: Attendance list of all participants)

 Expected to open or be permitted from 8 June, Phase 3

(pending Federal Council decision on 27 May)

  • Gatherings of more than 5 people
  • Swimming pools (open to the public)
  • Theatres and cinemas
  • Upper secondary schools, higher education and other educational institutions
  • Zoos, botanical gardens, animal parks, mountain transport services

Expected to be permitted from 15 June

(pending Federal Council decision on 27 May)

  • Border crossings to and from Germany, France and Austria

Closed/prohibited until 31 August

  • Public and private events for 1000 or more people
Country-Specific Information:

It is recommended that teleworking continues until further notice. 


  Keep your distance.
Wash your hands thoroughly.
Don’t shake hands.

 Cough and sneeze into a paper tissue or the crook of your arm.
Stay at home if you experience symptoms.

Always call ahead before going to the doctor’s or the emergency department.

 Recommendation: If it’s not possible to keep your distance, wear a mask.

  Continue to work from home if possible.

For current hygiene and social distancing rules, see:

Entry and Exit Requirements:

Generally, all foreign nationals who wish to enter Switzerland and do not hold a valid residence or work permit will be refused entry.

 Exceptions are possible and new categories for cases of special necessity are added regularly. In cases of special necessity, it is possible to enter Switzerland despite the entry ban. For a full list of persons exempted by the entry ban please visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM).

Business Travelers

There is the possibility to enter Switzerland for important business appointments which cannot be postponed and have to be in person. At the moment a special entry permit is needed to enter Switzerland for business travel. This application can be sent directly to, including for example the following documents: appointment confirmation, copy of passport, travel itinerary, reason for urgency of appointment/visit, and the reason for the need to be present personally.

 Border to Germany and Austria

Switzerland, Germany and Austria have agreed that from 16 May unmarried couples in long-term cross-border relationships will be able to cross the borders between the three countries to visit their partners. The same will apply to people wishing visit relatives or attend important family events. In addition, people may cross the border if they maintain a property, make use of agricultural and hunting land or woodlands or need to tend to animals in a neighboring country. Persons crossing the border for any of the foregoing reasons must complete and produce a self-declaration. Switzerland is also in talks with France with a view to agreeing on similar arrangements. A general opening of borders between Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria is planned for 15 June 2020 provided the coronavirus pandemic situation permits.

Border to France

Switzerland is also in talks with France regarding similar arrangements as with Germany and Austria. A general opening of borders between Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria is planned for 15 June 2020 provided the coronavirus pandemic situation permits.

 Border to Italy

All travel restrictions at the border to Italy will remain in place until further notice.

 For questions on entry requirements and permitted stay please visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM)

Flights to the U.S.: Flights to the United States from Switzerland

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 currently 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. 


Swiss International has announced plans to resume additional direct flights from Zurich to the United States in June, as follows: Zurich to New York (JFK) 4 times a week (days to be determined); and Zurich to Chicago 2 times a week (days to be determined).

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)
Assistance: 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

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
Get Alertswiss, a mobile app by the Federal Office for Civil Protection, to help you plan for and stay safe in an emergency while in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. 


To manage your subscription to these notifications please visit Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).