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COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR SWITZERLAND AND LIECHTENSTEIN
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.
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. See the FOPH website for ask requirements, including how to wear masks correctly.
A Note on Border Openings and International Travel:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the Switzerland due to COVID-19.
As of, June 15, Switzerland has lifted all COVID-19 related entry restrictions for travelers from other Schengen countries. The Swiss government has not announced a date when Switzerland will lift the current entry restrictions for U.S. citizens.
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.
American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit
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.
Limited services. The travel restrictions from Schengen countries to the United States under Presidential Proclamation 9984 still apply. U.S. Embassy Bern recommends that individuals who meet one of the categorial exemptions under the PP 9984 (i.e. spouse of U.S. citizen/LPR, parent of U.S. citizen/LPR child, etc.) apply for a B1/B2 visa in order to document that they meet the exemption. If you are planning to travel to the U.S., please visit the CDC’s Website for Travelers.
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.
Flights to the U.S.:
International commercial flight options currently exist in Switzerland.
Americans returning from the affected countries are required to travel through 13 airports (see DHS notice of arrival)
These flights can be booked directly with the Airline or most travel arrangers.
Note that Swiss International Air Lines is asking all passengers to bring their own mouth-nose face covering to wear on board all flights.
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 United States.
For more information visit Embassy Bern’s COVID19 Information Page FAQs.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
As of July 20, the 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.
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 the lifting of restrictions that apply to third countries from 20 July 2020
There is the possibility to enter Switzerland for important business appointments which cannot be postponed and must be in person. At this time, a special entry permit is needed to enter Switzerland for business travel from non-Schengen countries. This application can be sent directly to email@example.com, 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.
For questions on entry requirements and permitted stay please visit the website of the Swiss Migration Authority (SEM)
If you have questions about the quarantine requirement that applies to people arriving in or returning to Switzerland from certain countries, please consult the website of the Federal Office of Public Health: www.bag.admin.ch
Please also note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the Switzerland due to COVID-19.
Mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Switzerland
As of July 6, people arriving in Switzerland from certain countries (including the USA) are required to go into a MANDATORY 10-day quarantine. 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.
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 Federal Office of Public Health.
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)