U.S. Embassy Bern, Switzerland
Health Alert: COVID-19 Information for Switzerland and Liechtenstein (August 10, 2020)
Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Latest update for U.S. citizens regarding COVID-19 in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
- On August 6, in close coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State lifted the Global Level 4 Health Advisory. The Global Advisory, initially put in place on March 19, 2020, advised U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.
- The Department of State is returning to its previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice, in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Switzerland and Liechtenstein due to COVID-19. The Department of State’s current Travel Advisories for Switzerland and Liechtenstein are Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
- In light of the decision to lift the Global Level 4 Health Advisory, U.S. Embassy Bern will discontinue the weekly health Alerts. Please continue to monitor the U.S. Embassy Bern Covid-19 Info blog post, which will be continually updated with the latest information.
- The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has added additional countries and areas to the list for mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland
- The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) considers pregnant women among the people at especially high risk
An overview of the measures eased and the restrictions still in place can be found on the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Although many measures have been eased, people should continue to protect themselves and others by washing their hands regularly and observing social distancing.
Pregnant women among the people of high risk
On the basis of the evidence currently available, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has come to the conclusion together with the Swiss Association for Gynecology and Obstetrics (SGGG) that pregnant women are among the people at especially high risk.
The document entitled ‘Categories of persons at high risk’ (PDF, 139 kB, 24.06.2020) contains a continually updated list of who is considered to be at especially high risk based on the latest scientific findings.
If you are unsure whether you are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill, please contact your doctor.
Masks compulsory on public transport
Persons over the age of 12 are required to wear a mask in trains, trams, and buses, as well as on mountain rail and cableways and on lake and river boats, including on exterior decks. See the FOPH website for mask requirements, including how to wear masks correctly.
As of July 20, Switzerland has largely followed the EU Council recommendations regarding entry requirements of non-EU citizens. Third country nationals who do not have rights of free movement and do not hold a valid permit allowing them to live or work in Switzerland will be refused entry.
Citizens from high risk countries are restricted from entering Switzerland. Entry rules can change very quickly depending on the epidemiological situation. This list is subject to change and U.S. Embassy Bern recommends regularly checking the FOPH’s list of high-risk countries and contact your airline prior to departure.
At this time, the United States remains on the list of high-risk countries and U.S. citizens will remain subject to the current entry restrictions.
For further information:
- on the current entry restrictions
- on persons with rights of free movement
- on restrictions for traveling through Switzerland
Mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland
Individuals arriving in Switzerland from certain countries (including the USA) are required to go into a MANDATORY 10-day quarantine.
The countries and areas with a high risk of infection are set down in the Covid-19 Ordinance on International Passenger Transport Measures. This list of countries will be updated continuously.
As of August 8, 2020 the following counties and areas were newly added:
- The Bahamas
- Equatorial Guinea
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sint Maarten
- Spain (with the exception of the Balearic and Canary Islands)
Removed from the list on 8 August 2020: Azerbaijan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
- List valid upon arrival in Switzerland from August 8, 2020 (0:00h)
- List valid upon arrival in Switzerland between July 23, 2020 and August 7, 2020
If you are arriving in Switzerland from one of the countries with a high risk of infection you will be required to:
- Go immediately on arrival to your home or to other suitable accommodation.
- Stay there for 10 days from the day of your arrival without going out. Follow the instructions on quarantine (PDF, 142 kB, 06.07.2020).
- Report your arrival within two days to the responsible cantonal authority.
- Follow the instructions from the authorities.
- A negative test result does not shorten the quarantine period.
The measures put in place to address the spread of the coronavirus are subject to change, and we recommend confirming directly with Swiss authorities for the most current information. For more details please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
Hygiene and social distancing rules remain in place.
For more information visit Embassy Bern’s COVID-19 Information Website for Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
For the most up-to-date information on numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Switzerland visit the website of the Federal Office of Public Health.
For questions on entry requirements and permitted stay visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM).
For information on quarantine requirements and entering Switzerland visit the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
Infoline for people travelling to Switzerland: +41 58 464 44 88
Although services for U.S. citizens are still limited, passport production has resumed. Visit our website to apply for a U.S. passport or U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad as well as Notarial Services. Appointments are available at the U.S. Embassy in Bern and the consular agencies in Geneva and Zurich.
Please note that the U.S. Embassy is currently not providing renunciation/expatriation services.
Any person entering the consular section will be required to wear a face covering; children under six years old and those unable to wear a covering are exempt from this requirement.
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)
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.